Updated: 10/17/2008 13:10
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Hello, Im Darrell MacMullin, the country manager for PayPal in Canada Were in the midst of small business month in Canada so it seems

Hello, Im Darrell MacMullin, the country manager for PayPal in Canada. Were in the midst of small business month in Canada so it seems especially appropriate to talk about a new tool that Canadian small businesses will find useful.

Most of the more than one million businesses in Canada are SMBs and according to Statistics Canada there are about 4.5 million Canadians working at companies with fewer than 50 employees. More than 50 percent of us work for a small or mid-sized company. So, though the enterprise may get all the ink, it is the SMB that is the unsung hero of the Canadian economy.

Theres no doubt that uncertain economic times are ahead. One of the bright rays of light right now is e-commerce. Ive seen how the significant growth of e-commerce has truly impacted the way we do business. Online sales in Canada have increased at double-digit rates for the sixth consecutive year, up 26 percent between 2006 and 2007. This represents more than C$62.7 billion in sales. By 2010 Canada will likely be a C$100 billion e-commerce country, one of only a few in the world.

Now is the time for companies to think about thriving rather than surviving. E-commerce, with its borderless existence, is one avenue that will allow companies to continue to thrive in tough economic times. Theres a new tool now available on the Canadian e-commerce scene ? PayPal Website Payments Pro.

With it, companies get PayPal Express Checkout, which is shown to reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase sales by an average of 14 percent, since it streamlines the process by reducing the need for online shoppers to enter billing and shipping information. Customers stay on the merchant website during the entire transaction, giving merchants the opportunity to cross sell.

Theres also a feature called Virtual Terminal that allows you to seamlessly accept phone, fax, and mail orders. Another bonus - it has no set-up fee, no cancellation fee, and until the end of the year no monthly fee. Website Payments Pro has been designed with fast-paced SMBs in mind and we hope it will be another tool in the Canadian SMBs arsenal, helping to compete in the global marketplace.

No one knows how long or how much the current economic challenges will last, but Canadian SMBs shouldnt panic. In fact, many analysts are predicting that small businesses will actually fare better in this economic storm. Together, Canadas small business owners are one strong group, one that I have no doubt will indeed continue to thrive and, I hope, excel.

About the author

Nicole Berger has over seven years experience writing and editing for online and print media. She has held various editor and associate editor positions in some of forefront independent media publications. A consistently dependable team player, I thrive in a high-pressure environment, enjoy the challenges of meeting deadlines and managing a team, and am comfortable researching, writing and editing on a wide range of topics.
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