BMO Applauds the Federal Government for Designating 2011 as ‘The Year of The Entrepreneur’

TORONTO, January 27, 2011 – BMO Bank of Montreal today offered its strong support of the Federal Government’s decision to designate 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur. BMO encourages any new initiatives that will help unleash the Canadian entrepreneurial spirit and make it easier for small businesses to invest and create jobs.

“Looking ahead, we see the economy gaining strength after slowing recently, growing by a projected 2.7 per cent in 2011, as high commodity prices and an upturn in U.S. demand should bolster business confidence and investment, supporting small and medium-sized businesses,” said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Economics.

More than one million small businesses make-up the backbone of communities across Canada accounting for nearly 98 per cent of the total of all private businesses and over the last decade and creating more than one-third of all new private sector jobs.

“Entrepreneurs are the pioneers who push the boundaries of discovery, drive growth and innovation. During the most challenging days of the recession, these small business owners showed their resilience, kept their focus on their customers, and now they are the ones who are poised to grow and lead their companies through this emerging economic recovery,” said Gail Cocker, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

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Canadian Dollar to Stay Above Parity Through 2011, Says BMO Economics

TORONTO, January 20, 2011 – The Canadian dollar flew above parity in the waning days of 2010, and is predicted to rise a few cents above the U.S. dollar by the end of 2011, according to Douglas Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

“We believe that the Canadian dollar is likely to remain firm through 2011, with further gains still possible if commodity prices continue to forge ahead,” said Mr. Porter.

The strong dollar’s impact will vary across regions in Canada, and depending on the sector, will present some challenges and opportunities. Porter noted that manufacturing, tourism and some resource industries could face some difficulties as the loonie remains firm while utilities, broadcasters, sport teams and some retailers could benefit from a stronger currency.

“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.”

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