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The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Two-thirds of Canada's small business owners are feeling "very happy" these days, up from the 63 per cent who expressed that sentiment in 2010, finds a new survey from TD Canada Trust.

The keys to their happiness: For 96 per cent, the top benefit of owning their own business is a sense of personal achievement, with the same figure citing being able to help customers and clients, according to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey of 402 small business owners (at companies with five to 50 employees) in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary conducted by Environics Research.

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Among other factors, 94 per cent credited being their own boss, the same percentage cited being in control of their own destiny, and 85 per cent were buoyed by the opportunity to make more money.

"Many people dream of being their own boss and owning their own business one day, so it's no surprise that so many small business owners are happy where they are right now," said Alec Morley, senior vice-president of small business banking for TD Canada Trust in a release about the survey,

"When owners are optimistic, they tend to be more likely to invest in their business by boosting spending and hiring," he added.

Among other findings of the survey, 36 per cent of small businesses that export internationally said the strong Canadian dollar is affecting their profits, and 22 per cent have seen a fall in demand from customers abroad.

The survey also found that small business owners are putting in an average of 48.7 hours of work a week, up slightly from 47.8 hours weekly last year. As a result, 60 per cent said they find it tough to separate their business and personal lives, and 89 per cent said they can never truly stop thinking about their business.

SEO assistance

Want to boost your SEO knowhow? Small Business Trends offers up a list of helpful resources for small business owners who want to increase their knowledge of search-engine optimization.

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The list includes blogs to read, communities to join and a little encouragement against being daunted by having to learn yet another thing to help make sure your business site attracts the right people.

Thinking traps to avoid

Idealab has created more than 75 startups since its own 1996 start, so its founders have learned a thing or two about what makes new companies succeed. Here Bloomberg Businessweek shares five of the 'thinking traps' that Idealab says entrepreneurs need to avoid.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

With the referendum on a harmonized sales tax in British Columbia, columnist Tony Wilson shares what he believes a young generation stands to lose with a failed HST vote.

From the ROSB archives

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Tony Wilson has written a few times on the HST referendum. Check out some of his previous columns here and here and here.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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