Small businesses are optimistic but weary of government regulations

Bakers Journal
June 28, 2017
Written by Bakers Journal
Toronto — In a recent study conducted of small business owners across Canada, 72 per cent of small business owners are unaware of supportive government initiatives and only a quarter find them helpful.

Sage, a company that creates integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, released new data about the psyche of Canadian small businesses at the Sage Summit Toronto 2017. The survey provides a comprehensive overview of the outlook, concerns, and beliefs shared by small business owners in Canada as the country heads toward Canada's 150th celebration.

The majority (85 per cent) are optimistic about the future of their business, and two-thirds (74 per cent) are generally optimistic about the future of small businesses in Canada. More than half (51 per cent) cite too many government regulations and/or taxes as the most common day-to-day challenge that their business faces, and one-third (32 per cent) indicate that there is a general lack of support from the government.

Lack of awareness about government programs targeting small businesses might be the biggest hurdle. In fact, nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) say they know very little or nothing about the federal or provincial government's initiatives to aid small businesses. Only one-quarter of entrepreneurs surveyed find federal (26 per cent) or provincial (25 per cent) government initiatives to be helpful to their businesses.

"It is encouraging to hear that Canadian business builders are feeling much more optimistic than last year when we conducted our global survey," said Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage Group, in a news release. "As a champion for our customers, those business builders that power all economies around the world, we are working with governments and local business communities to make sure Canadian small businesses are heard at the highest levels."

Additional key findings of the survey include:

· Canadian entrepreneurs are dedicated to serving their local communities and contributing to Canada:

· 70 per cent agree Canadian small businesses are more likely than large businesses to serve their local community.

· Three quarters say either small business in Canada (26 per cent) or both small and large businesses (50 per cent) are likely to contribute to Canada's reputation. Respondents are equally likely to say that small businesses (41 per cent) or both small and large businesses (43 per cent) provide innovation for their consumers.

· 43 per cent believe small businesses make Canada a better place to live and 52 per cent say both large and small businesses equally make Canada better.

Aside from government regulations, small businesses continue to face challenges in three areas:

· 45 per cent find it challenging to seek new customers.

· 39 per cent say they would get rid of the administrative headaches of running a small business.

· 18 per cent want easier financing.

Despite the challenges and risks Canadian small business owners face, they still believe in their chosen career path. Eighty-five per cent say if they had to do it over again, they would still opt to open a small business.

"Canadian business builders are tenacious and proud," said Paul Struthers, EVP and managing director for Sage Canada in a news release. "They are working tirelessly to serve their communities and bring unique services to their customers. Our responsibility as a global leader is to do everything we can to minimize or eliminate their administrative headaches so that they can focus on what they love and do best."

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