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The evolving state of Small Business Advice

As financial challenges continue to be top-of-mind for small business owners due to sustained inflationary pressures and high interest rates, it’s important that small businesses of diverse business models, shapes and sizes are aware of Scotiabank’s tailored advice offerings. This is particularly true as businesses increasingly seek out advice via online platforms. The challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for small businesses in 2024 are not one-size-fits-all.

No matter the present concern, or potential opportunity for growth on the horizon, businesses need to fully consider the challenges and opportunities that await them. Scotiabank can play a key role providing businesses – large and small – with tailored advice.

1. Ensure access to capital to help grow or sustain your business and protect your cash flow

It’s never too early to start a conversation with your small business advisor about your financing options. Whether it is increasing your line of credit, managing cash flow, planning CEBA repayments, or getting more information about loan options, your Small Business Advisor can help you ensure that your business is set up for continued success.

Writing a business plan can seem like a daunting task, but a business without a plan is prone to making reactive or even emotional decisions that could be detrimental in the long run. Before you talk to a Small Business Advisor, consider using Scotiabank’s Small Business Planning tool, available at This stepby-step tool will guide you through all the stages of building your business plan, with helpful tips and definitions throughout the process. Once your plan is complete, you can save and print it, and even bring it to a Scotiabank Small Business Advisor who can review it, provide feedback, and help you understand your financing options.

Scotiabank can also offer guidance on a number of grant and subsidy options for small business owners through programs like the Scotiabank Women Initiative and the Black Entrepreneurship Fund. These programs aim to remove barriers and provide entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups with access to capital.

2. Secure financing options to help sustain future impact

With financial challenges continuing to occupy the minds of business owners, with more than half of small business owners (55%) saying they are challenged by increases in costs due to inflation or rising interest rates, it’s never been more important to make sure your business is as streamlined as possible.

With small businesses ranking cost cutting as their number one priority, a Scotiabank Small Business Advisor can offer advice to support your businesses’ unique needs and help meet your financial goals.

3. Invest in digital tools, including AI, to find efficiencies and streamline operations

If you use messaging services for your business, you are capable of using Artificial Intelligence. Whether you need support drafting a customer email, information on sales channels, or contacting information for a vendor, AI Technology can cut time and costs for your business. The time you invest in learning how to use it will provide significant dividends.

With small business owners increasingly taking advantage of digital advice resources, online services like Scotia Advice+ (Advice+) continue to provide value to the small business community across Canada. Launched in 2020, the online service offers customers and small businesses a range of new options as they seek financial advice during uncertain economic times.

The Advice+ platform responds to the increasing digitization of the banking experience by offering small business clients step-by-step guides to financial planning, investing, budgeting and other advisory services.

4. Lean on experienced and knowledgeable banking advisors for tailored advice

With financial challenges top of mind, small business owners are continuing to reach out for personalized financial advice through digital resources and from their Advisor.

Small Business Advisors can help you navigate a variety of topics including cash flow management, advice on how to pay back loans, and can introduce you to innovative Advice+ tools such as the Small Business Solutions Builder to help determine the best solutions based on your business needs.

Download Scotiabank’s new small business report:
"Path to Impact 2023: Resilient Small Business Owners optimistic for the future despite headwinds"

Download Scotiabank’s 2022 small business report:
Path to Impact 2022: Operating in the New Normal

Download Scotiabank’s 2021 small business report:
“Path to Impact 2021: Operating in the New Normal”

Download Scotiabank’s 2020 small business report:
“The New Path to Impact: Facing the Future with Cautious Optimism”