TORONTO—More Canadian small business owners plan to hire this year, according to the 2012 RBC Small Business Survey, with 29 per cent reporting they will be adding new employees within the next 12 months, up from 25 per cent in 2011.
Another 68 per cent of entrepreneurs plan to invest in their businesses within the next two years.
RBC says its research indicates 94 per cent of Canadians believe small businesses play a critical role in the growth of the economy and 88 per cent view them as vital job creators.
According to Statistics Canada, small businesses continue to be key sources of new jobs—small firms accounted for, on average, 43 per cent of all jobs created in the private sector between 2001 to 2011.
However, 32 per cent business owners with five to 25 employees say that finding qualified help will be one of their top challenges over the next year.
RBC says key areas of small business investment in the next two years include:
- new equipment (35 per cent)
- new technology (29 per cent)
- new products and services (27 per cent)
- hiring new employees (17 per cent)
- employee training (17 per cent)
“The intention to invest in their enterprises demonstrates the continued resiliency of Canadian small business owners,” said Mike Michell, national director, Small Business, RBC.
“Almost a quarter of Canadian entrepreneurs (23 per cent) expect to continue growing the size of their business. Many may see this as a good time to take advantage of low interest rates and perhaps purchase new equipment in USD or other currencies that have lost ground to our Canadian dollar.”