Overhead expenses and taxes are the two biggest challenges facing small business owners in Canada, followed by concerns about pricing and marketing, finds a TD survey. Also, one-quarter of small businesses are concerned about the costs of labour and finding talented employees.

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“Small businesses have to deal with a lot of the operational challenges that bigger businesses face, but they can seem magnified for a small business owner who is also trying to operate with a smaller staff,” says Michelle Harvey, assistant vice president, Small Business Banking Product, TD Bank Group. “Fortunately, there are some things that work really well for them, including the service they receive from their financial institution.”

Harvey notes these businesses, which employ between one and 99 people, account for more than 98% of all businesses in Canada. The survey finds small business owners were least concerned about banking practices, with less than 8% citing them as one of their top-three challenges.

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“Two-thirds of small business owners have been with the same financial institution for five years or more, while nearly 80% say they’re satisfied with the service they’re receiving,” she says.

Further, service and convenience are the top features small business owners looked for in their financial institution, followed by the institution’s overall expertise and its knowledge of a client’s business. Only 3% of small business owners say they’re very likely to switch to another financial institution within the next year.

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