Nine in Ten Canadians (88%) Claim to Support Local Businesses Over Large Ones

Majority (57%) Would Pay More for a Product or Service Sold by a Local Business

Nine in Ten Canadians (88%) Claim to Support Local Businesses Over Large Ones

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, September 18, 2017 — Support for local small businesses runs deep in Canada, with nine in ten Canadians (88%) agreeing (21% strongly / 67% agree) they would support a local business by doing business with them instead of a large business, a new Ipsos survey for RBC has found. When it comes to spending extra as a sign of support, a majority say they’re willing: nearly six in ten (57%) agree (10% strongly / 47% agree) they would pay more for a product or service that is offered by a local business.

Millennials are the most likely to say they’d pay more to support a local business: 69% would, compared to 55% of Gen X’ers and 52% of Baby Boomers. They are also the generation that interacts directly with businesses through social media the most (66% do, vs. 49% of Gen X’ers and 27% of Boomers), whether it’s following them on social media (41%), reacting to their posts (19%), or commenting on their products or services (6%).

This support could be strengthened further if local businesses offered more ways to pay. Seven in ten Canadians (69%) agree (16% strongly / 54% agree) they would spend more money at a local business if it accepted more than just cash as a payment option. Payment choice is something most Canadians agree on: three in four (77%) agree (30% strongly / 47% agree) they wish more businesses had credit or debit card tap-to-pay options, while nearly half (47%) agree (14% strongly / 33% agree) they wish more businesses offered mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Google Wallet. Millennials are even more likely to want payment options: 80% wish more businesses had tap-to-pay (vs. 77% of Gen X’ers and 75% of Baby Boomers), and 60% wish they had more mobile payment options like Apple Pay or similar (vs. 52% of Gen X’ers and 34% of Boomers).

Credit or debit is the preferred option for most Canadians, regardless of how much they spend on a given transaction. For smaller purchases of up to $25, four in ten (42%) prefer to pay with cash, while half (52%) prefer paying by debit (29%) or credit card (23%). For purchases above $500, two in three (66%) prefer to pay by credit card, while two in ten (20%) prefer using their debit card, and just 6% want to pay by cash.

Small Business as Career Move

Part of Canadians’ affinity for small or local businesses may lie in the fact that many have thought about starting one themselves. A majority (63%) have thought of owning their own business at some point, including three in four Millennials (74%). One in three (32%) Canadians who’ve thought about it have made it a reality by going on to start or purchase their own business.

Greater control and more money are the strongest motivating factors when it comes to going solo: nine in ten (88%) Canadians agree (41% strongly / 47% agree) they’d like to start or run their own business because it gives them the ability to have control over their career, while eight in ten (83%) agree (34% strongly / 49% agree) it would help them make more money.

When it comes to what type of business they’d prefer to work for, given the choice, six in ten (63%) say they’d choose working for a small business of up to 10 employees, while only 37% say they’d prefer working for a large business of over 100 employees.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 13 and July 17, 2017, on behalf of RBC. For this survey, a sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18+ from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 324-2002


About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media, customer loyalty, marketing, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.





The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs