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BMO Study: 49 Per Cent of Canadians Have to Travel Outside Their Community to Access Common Business Services


Having access to local business services is an important factor in choosing where you will live and your quality of life

- Grocery, banking and professional services and restaurants most widely available
- Almost one in five say that retail businesses are not easily accessible in their home communities
- Hospitality and travel services/businesses least available in Canadian communities

TORONTO – A survey released today by BMO Bank of Montreal shows that almost half (49 per cent) of Canadians have to travel outside their community to access common business services.

The study, conducted by Leger Marketing, revealed:

- Half (49 per cent) of Canadians have to travel outside their community to access business services
- Less than one-fifth (18 per cent) indicated that they would never need to travel outside their community to access common business services
- Banking and financial services are widely available across Canadian communities (94 per cent)
- Hospitality services are least likely available according to 75 per cent of respondents

“Having access to business services in your local community is an important factor when it comes to choosing where you will live, and your quality of life. The good news for Canadians is we are beginning to see increased economic activity and a steady pick up in business investment across the country,” says Cathy Pin , Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. “While some areas and regions are experiencing more robust growth than others, a renewed business confidence should translate into new business openings and, with them, more choices for Canadian consumers.”

According to BMO Economics, the Canadian economy has shifted from the recovery phase to a more mature expansion, with real GDP now expected to grow a moderate 2.8 per cent in 2011, before easing to 2.6 per cent in 2012. At the regional level, Douglas Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets, sees “a clear divide between the commodity-producing provinces and non-commodity provinces, with Western Canada and Newfoundland & Labrador expected to grow 3 per cent to 4 per cent this year, Central Canada growing slightly below 3 per cent and Atlantic Canada at around a 2 per cent pace.”

Additional Survey Findings:

- Ontarians and Albertans are most likely to say they have access to automotive businesses and services (88 per cent).
- Access to grocery businesses is highest in British Columbia at 99 per cent, and lowest in Atlantic Canada at 90 per cent
- Only 9 per cent of respondents from British Columbia say they frequently have to travel outside their communities to access business services
- B.C residents are the most likely (91 per cent) to say they have access to trade services in their communities when compared to those living in Ontario (83 per cent), Quebec, or the Atlantic Provinces (82 per cent respectively).

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between May 30 – June 1, 2011, using a sample of 1504 Canadians, 18 years of age or older. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.


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