Canadian small businesses catch their breath

For roller coaster lovers out there, you’ll know this to be true: after all the dread and screaming and arm-flailing, there’s that brief shining moment near the bottom when the brakes come on, the car slows down, everyone around (including you) falls silent and you exhale. You know you’ve survived.

But while you can count me in to get back in line at the amusement park, there’s nothing fun about what happened to businesses this year and last. Is there anyone out there who wants to go back on that ride?

We spoke with over 650 owners, employees and executives of small business to compile our most recent STAPLES Canada Small Business National Quarterly Index. And nearly half told us they feel current economic conditions are good or very good – up from 31% in March. In other words, entrepreneurs across the country collectively just exhaled.

In fact, as 2009 comes to a close, Canadian small business owners are more optimistic than they’ve been all year. And results from the survey, conducted by the friendly number-crunching folks at Angus Reid Strategies, seem to confirm reports that our economy is growing again – thanks in large part to small businesses.

It turns out, they not only suffered less damage than any other recession in 65 years. Small biz outperformed big biz – big time. Cold comfort if you’re one of the many who’ve been hit hard – half of Canada’s small businesses say they’re still cutting costs to cope with recession pressures – but pretty good news for 2010. Phew.

By Adam

November 13, 2009