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the top tens

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With the loonie flying high, there's never been a better time for Canadian entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses. BMO Financial Group has compiled a list of the top ways entrepreneurs plan to take advantage of the Canadian dollar in 2011.

"Parity with the U.S. dollar could represent a significant opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs to enhance their productivity by upgrading or refreshing their equipment," said Cathy Pin, Vice President, BMO Commercial Banking. "A strong Canadian dollar provides additional purchasing power when importing this equipment and purchasing supplies and inventory from the global market."

Rank

Investment

Percentage

1

Upgrading processes / equipment / machinery

56%

2

Training current employees

25%

3

Increasing staff

21%

4

I'm not sure / I'd prefer not to answer

14%

5

Expanding my operations into the U.S. or Mexico



9%

6

Expanding my operations overseas



6%

7

Buy imported products / have products imported

6%

8

Other

3%

9

Expanding my operations across Canada

2%

10

Nothing

2%

The survey was completed on the telephone between Tuesday, February 1st and Friday, February 25th, 2011, with a sample of 507 small business owners in Canada. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±4.4%, 19 times out of 20.