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Canadian internal trade red tape “a burden” on half of SMEs: UPS survey


MISSISSAUGA, Ont.– According to UPS Canada survey data released today, 48 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises believe cross-provincial trade restrictions and red tape inhibit their business growth. Despite the hurdles, 73 per cent conducted business with customers or partners in other provinces. Recent discussions to modernize Canada’s internal trade would further enable the remaining quarter of SMEs not currently doing business in other provinces to do so in the next five years.

The UPS Canada Small Business Challenges survey is the second of two parts. Along with general business performance challenges, the first part examined e-commerce trends and supply chain management.

“We continue to see growth within our country’s borders, fueled by market opportunity and customer demand,” says Paul Gaspar, director of small business, UPS Canada. “Our recent expansion in western Canada is a bellwether of the business growth in the region. Making interprovincial and international trade less cumbersome would be a significant benefit to our customers and small business in general. Our global network and reputation for reliability helps businesses leverage trade opportunities as they grow within their borders and expand beyond their comfort zone.”

In fact, a UPS Leger survey from earlier this year showed more than four in five Canadian businesses see global trade as a key competitive advantage for Canada. Approximately 84 per cent believe trade diversification beyond North America is necessary.

Small business owners indicate 2014 has been a good year with 20 per cent exceeding annual targets and just over half are meeting their goals. Success was attributed to a new product, service or innovation at 42 per cent, with almost one-quarter claiming expansion into other provinces.

Furthermore, in UPS research earlier this year overall businesses were more likely to exceed their growth benchmarks with a supply chain strategy in place (24.6%), rather than without (16.3%).

“Four out of 10 businesses that do not have a supply chain strategy believe their business is not large enough to warrant one,” adds Paul Gaspar. “Of those who do have a supply chain strategy, 90 per cent agree that it assists growth and helps them stay ahead of the competition. You are never too small to have a supply chain strategy. With the right partners, businesses can shift the momentum of their growth exponentially whether to export inter-provincially or internationally.”