MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Canadian small businesses have made it clear that economic recovery and international trade are closely linked, with 80 percent agreeing that increasing trade between Canada and other countries will improve the economy overall.
This is a finding of a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of FedEx Express Canada.
While 31 percent of Canadian small businesses say their revenues are decreasing, small businesses are generally optimistic about the future of their business. Forty-three percent say they believe a year from now their revenues will be increasing and 78 percent are confident in the future success of their business.
“Small businesses are the foundation upon which Canada’s economy is built,” said Lisa Lisson, president, FedEx Express Canada.
“Small businesses are going through a generational battle for survival and their success is key to Canada’s economic recovery. Despite their challenges, their optimism is encouraging.”
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic may prove to be a long process, with one in five small businesses who have moved to temporary remote work saying they do not expect to move back to in-person office until next year.
However, half of small businesses (51 percent) believe that increasing the amount of trade between Canada and other countries will help their business. Surprisingly, only 39 percent of Canadian small businesses are currently selling goods online.
While Canadian SMEs share the view that trade is important to the economy, the poll confirms that vast majority of survey respondents (59 percent) state the main reason their business does not import or export is because their customers are mainly local.
“”Our borders remain open for trade and new markets wait for Canada’s goods and services. In challenging times such as these, we urge our small business owners to explore new strategies” said Lisson. “The FedEx Trade Index suggests not enough small business owners have pivoted their “brick and mortar” operations with “click and mortar” enhancements, opening their potential customer base to 7.8 billion people. This is where our small businesses can find growth potential.”
Looking more deeply at the impact trade has on small businesses, 73 percent of SMEs who import or export goods admit that fees and tariffs have had a great deal or some effect on the growth on their business. Four out of ten (41 percent) SMEs who import or export goods say import/export fees are a major challenge to their business, with 38 percent saying the same about the variations in fees and tariffs. This represents a real barrier to Canadian small businesses when importing or exporting goods to and from different countries.
Support for CUSMA
The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) enjoys support from 86 percent of small business decision makers in Canada. Small businesses feel that international trade will not only help the Canadian economy, but their personal business as well.
More than half of Canadian small businesses (51 percent) think increasing trade between their country and other countries will help their company.
The poll was conducted from September 29 to September 29, 2019 among 500 small business decision makers in the Canada. These interviews were conducted online using a panel of respondents.