New survey from Staples Canada finds that 82 per cent of Canadian small businesses are optimistic about the future
RICHMOND HILL, ON, Oct. 12, 2021 /CNW/ – October marks Small Business Month in Canada. With vaccination rates continuing to increase and as employees gradually settle into new routines, many businesses are looking for opportunities to get back to growth. As the Working and Learning Company, Staples Canada supports businesses of all sizes across Canada, fueling this passion for growth, equipping businesses to deliver for their own customers and get back to business.
“We know that COVID-19 has posed a real challenge for Canadian businesses and we see ourselves as an integral partner to businesses of all sizes,” said David Boone, Chief Executive Officer, Staples Canada. “While many small businesses acknowledge that there are still challenges around doing business in today’s environment, we’re heartened to hear about how they’ve pivoted to fuel their growth, and that they remain optimistic about the future – as do we.”
Staples Canada commissioned a survey of 624 small business owners across Canada to better understand the impact the pandemic had on their businesses, the concerns they continue to face, and to gauge overall sentiment among this group. Key insights include:
- Looking forward with optimism: The majority (82 per cent) of respondents (small business owners) are optimistic about their future prospects.
- Reduced in-person interactions: COVID-19 has caused nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents to reduce in-person appointments to limit interactions within their places of work.
- Adapting to remote and hybrid work: Nearly a third (32 per cent) of respondents have transitioned their full workforce to remote working and a quarter (26 per cent) have reduced work hours due to COVID-19. Among respondents whose workforces are completely remote, more than half (54 per cent) believe small businesses will adopt hybrid work schedules in the future.
- Further apart physically, but closer through virtual means: While half (52 per cent) of survey respondents felt integrating new hires into the culture has been more challenging, three quarters of respondents (74 per cent) felt they have found innovative ways to maintain the company culture, and 58 per cent of respondents said their employees felt closer now than before the pandemic.
- COVID-19 vaccination continues to be a hot topic: Two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents plan to require full vaccination of employees to return to their places of work. This number drops to 55 per cent in Quebec. 66 per cent of respondents said they would enforce this policy; this number drops to 50 per cent in Quebec.
As the Working and Learning Company, Staples Canada has continued to expand its support of small businesses in a number of ways through Solutionshop and its business membership programs, including:
- Solutionshop continues to provide printing, digital marketing, shipping, and tech services. Its experts are on-hand to assist small businesses every step of the way, including new partnerships with Canva and Shopify.
- An expanded partnership with design powerhouse Canva, offering customers Canva Pro to help boost their productivity and creativity. Packed with high-quality time-saving tools, teams can collaborate on designs in real time, keep everyone on-brand with Brand Kit, and streamline design time with tools like Magic Resize, Background Remover, and Version History.
- Partnering with Shopify to offer Staples customers a 60-day free trial, helping them create an ecommerce website backed by powerful tools from Shopify that provide everything needed to run a business online.
- The recent re-launch of Staples Professional, Canada’s leading business supplier, which includes a new brand and online customer experience, an expanded delivery fleet, track-and-trace capabilities for orders, and member pricing available for business customers at Staples Canada stores. These are just a few of the ways Staples Professional has renewed its commitment to Canadian business customers.
- Expansion of Staples Preferred; a unique membership program that offers tailored solutions for small to medium-sized Canadian businesses, offering exclusive pricing and benefits, with no annual fee.
- Staples Small Business HQ (staples.ca/smallbusinessHQ) has been refreshed for 2021, offering additional resources for small businesses to save time, energy and money with information on health and safety, external business funding and loans, tax relief programs, and more.
- A partnership with TreviPay to offer a Commercial Credit Account with a seamless check-out experience, both in-store and online. TreviPay’s cardless mobile app solution in Canada allows business customers to purchase on account, making it easy for any buyer to pay on their terms, in the channel they prefer, whether in a Staples store, Staples Preferred or on staples.ca.
- Expanded partnership with Flexiti; business customers are now offered up to 60-day terms with 0% interest1 in-store and online with the Staples Business Credit Account.
Staples Canada has also recently partnered with Howie Mandel and Pierre-Yves Lord to bring its new brand campaign, Let’s Find Out, to life through a series of advertising spots, the first of which focuses on business customers thinking about different ways they can adapt to a changing workplace and marketplace. Mandel and Lord assume the voice of a customer’s curiosity, encouraging them to seek solutions available through Staples Canada and Bureau en Gros.
About Staples Canada
Staples Canada is The Working and Learning Company. With a focus on community, inspiration and services, the privately-owned company is committed to being a dynamic, inspiring partner to customers who visit its 300+ locations and staples.ca. The company has two brands that support business customers, Staples Preferred for small businesses and Staples Professional for medium to large-sized enterprises, as well as five co-working facilities in Toronto, Kelowna, Oakville and Ottawa under the banner Staples Studio. Staples Canada is a proud partner of MAP through its Even the Odds campaign, which aims to tackle inequities in communities across Canada and helps make a future that’s fair for everyone. Visit staples.ca for more information or get social with @StaplesCanada on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About the survey
The survey released by Maru Public Opinion was conducted by the online panel experts at Maru/Blue of 624 representative Canadian small business owners who have between 2 and 99 employees and focused on office and service-related businesses. The survey was conducted September 17 – 22, 2021 among English and French speakers, a comparable probability sample has an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.9%, 19 times out of 20.
SOURCE Staples Canada ULC