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Act small, think big: Canadians support small businesses, but new demands will impact how companies operate

Online services and loyalty programs cited as key for small businesses
by Gen-Y; Baby Boomers looking for more traditional customer service

Rogers launches national event series and contest to support small
business growth in Canada

TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2013 /CNW/ – Canadians are loyal supporters of small
business today but a generational divide and evolving customer demands
could greatly impact this landscape. Today, Baby Boomers and Gen-Y’s
are both committed to supporting local, Canadian small businesses, but
how they choose to interact with them is markedly different according
to new research from Rogers, commissioned by Harris-Decima.

The majority of Canadians – over 85 per cent – agree that convenience
and personal service are the most important reasons they support small
businesses. But new demands from Generation Y – Canadians between the
ages of 18 and 35 – reveal that small businesses can benefit from
offering online services to their customers. More than half of Gen Y
(60%) feels that small businesses should operate an e-commerce site and
are not currently active enough online, while under 35 per cent of Baby
Boomers agree.

“The research reveals that although the majority of Canadians are
devoted to small business, generational demands are shifting what’s
expected from them,” said Tess Van Thielen, Director of B2B Strategy
and Small Business Marketing, Rogers. “Providing a tailored customer
experience allows small businesses to maintain customer loyalty and
compete in a crowded market, but more than ever, younger Canadians want
around the clock access to their local businesses through online
channels and connected technology.”

Canadians over 60 are the largest supporters of small businesses, but
Gen Y wants more personal and online interaction. Key findings include:

  • Baby boomers are the greatest supporters of local business in Canada as
    almost two thirds (58%) of Canadians over the age of sixty agree they
    engage a small business at least once a week
  • Over half (68%) of Gen Y think it’s important for small businesses to
    offer a loyalty rewards program
  • Over half (60%) of Gen Y think it’s important for small businesses to
    offer an e-commerce website
  • Over half (51%) of Gen Y think small businesses should have a strong
    social media presence

Furthermore, research findings show that support for one’s local economy
and a personal customer experience are important to all Canadians:

  • Over half (64%) of Canadians who engage with small businesses do so to
    support their local economy while others (58%) want a personalized
    experience
  • Over half (62%) of Canadians feel a sense of pride when supporting a
    small business
  • Over half (65%) of Canadians believe that employees at local/small
    businesses have more knowledge about the products and services they
    carry

“Small businesses have an opportunity to engage with customers at any
time by using the right technology. They just need to know where to
start,” said Van Thielen. “Our team works daily with customers across
Canada to help them choose the right solutions for their business.”

This October, the Rogers Small Business Team will support small business
month with Rogers Talks, a national series of events that will bring together topic experts to
share practical insights and tips with small businesses across Canada. Rogers Talks will host experts in social media, marketing and sales to share
knowledge and applicable best practices with attendees. Events will
take place in Toronto, Kitchener/Waterloo, Montreal, Calgary and
Vancouver from October 28th to November 12th and are open to any small business owner or employee. To register,
visit www.rogers.com/RogersTalks.

Rogers Small Business Big Idea Giveaway, a national contest that launched today, will award five technology
grand prize packages worth $20,000, including mobile devices from
Rogers and BlackBerry. Owners of small businesses with up to 99
employees across Canada can enter by sharing how Rogers could give
their business a competitive edge at www.rogers.com/bigidea by October, 5th 2013.

For more information about small business offerings from Rogers, or to
find a Rogers Small Business Specialist in your region, visit www.rogers.com/smallbusiness.

About Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media
company. We are Canada’s largest provider of wireless voice and data
communications services and one of Canada’s leading providers of cable
television, high speed internet and telephony services. Through Rogers
Media we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, televised
shopping, magazines and trade publications, sports entertainment, and
digital media. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange
(TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI).
For further information about the Rogers group of companies, please
visit rogers.com.

SOURCE Rogers Communications Inc.