While many small businesses surveyed by Meridian Credit Union aren’t planning to hire any more employees or expand in 2014, the cooperative said it still sees opportunities to meet their financial needs.
The $9.9 billion credit union in Ontario, Canada, released its Small Business Banking in Ontario Study Tuesday. Among the findings were that 75% of the 250 small businesses surveyed have no plans to hire next year.
Ninety percent aren’t planning to expand their current location and 91% will not open another location in 2014, according to the survey, which was conducted by Harris/Decima.
Twelve percent of those surveyed said they plan to sell their business, the data showed.
With 52% of businesses having no planned business changes for next year, Jeff Brown, director of small business banking at Meridian, acknowledged that he is concerned about the state of the small business community in Ontario.
“One of the top reasons for maintaining the status quo was budget and economic concerns,” Brown said. “An easy first step we share with our members is to create an up-to-date business plan that can act as a roadmap for their future.”
Meridian also found that 52% of the small businesses surveyed said they never seek advice or help from their financial institutions and only 13% ask for advice on a regular basis.
“For Ontario small businesses to grow and prosper they need to have a support network in place, which is why it came as a surprise that 52% of Ontario small business owners don't ask for help when they need it,” Brown said.
He added, “By working with trusted advisers, small business owners can take advantage of opportunities to grow their business, minimizing stress in their personal and professional lives.”
Other findings from the study revealed that the economy (22%) and saving for retirement (21%) were the leading worries that kept Ontario small business owners up at night. Eighty-seven percent identified cash flow (45%) and work/family balance (42%) as their top challenges.