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BMO Harris Bank Survey of Small Business Owners Finds Less Than Half Would Sell Their Business if They Won the Lottery

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 8, 2014) - BMO Harris Bank today released the results of a small business owner poll that found less than half (39 percent) of small business owners would sell their business if they won the lottery. The results were revealed in advance of National Small Business Week (May 12 - 16), designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"Business owners are incredibly dedicated to their work, and our survey results reinforce the fact that, for many, they aren't in it just to make money," said Daniela O'Leary-Gill, Head of Small Business Banking, BMO Ha rris Bank. "The business owners we work with are passionate, driven and committed to seeing their ideas succeed."

The survey, which polled small business owners with earnings less than $3 million, also showed how many would sell their business by age, with millennials most likely to be willing to part with their business:

Age   18-39   40-49   50-64   65+
Would sell their business   45 percent   35 percent   36 percent   39 percent

"Small businesses have historically been a major driver of job growth and innovation in the economy," said Michael Gregory, Head of U.S. Economics, BMO Capital Markets. "For example, since net job growth turned positive after the recent recession, firms with less than 50 employees have accounted for 30 percent of all jobs created, on par with the very largest employers (1000+ employees) in the country."

"Small business owners can take advantage of our new online hub, Your Financial Life, which offers user-friendly and timely articles and advice on everything from recruiting employees to leveraging social media," added Ms. O'Leary-Gill. 

For advice about starting or growing a small business, visit

Survey results cited are from telephone interviews with an online sample of 304 US business owners and primary decision makers, of business with an annual revenue of less than $3 million per year, conducted between November 4th and 22nd. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 5.4%, 19 times out of 20. Data has been weighted by state and annual revenue, based on Census information, to ensure demographic and regional proportions match those of the actual business population.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $593 billion in assets (as of January 31, 2014).

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Media contact:

Alexis Brown
312-461-6 543