Archived — Key Small Business Statistics - August 2013
How many businesses are there in Canada?
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As of December 2012, there were 1,107,540 employer businesses in Canada, as shown in Table 1, of which 1,087,803 were small. Small businesses make up 98.2 percent of employer businesses, medium-sized businesses make up 1.6 percent of employer businesses and large businesses make up 0.1 percent of employer businesses.
|Provinces/ Territories||Employer Businesses||No. of Small and Medium-Sized Business Locations per 1,000 Population
(aged 15+ years)
|GDP per Employer Business
|Source: Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2012; National Income and Expenditure Accounts 2010; Labour Force Survey (LFS), 2012.
Note: LFS working age population (aged 15 years and above) estimates are available for provinces only.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||17,335||17,090||233||12||40.5||1,940|
|Prince Edward Island||5,615||5,547||64||4||46.6||953|
Approximately 57 percent of all employer businesses in Canada are located in Ontario and Quebec. Virtually all the rest are divided between the western provinces (36 percent) and the Atlantic provinces (7 percent). The Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut represent only 0.3 percent of Canada's employer businesses.
Relative to the working age population (aged 15 years and above), Alberta and Saskatchewan have more SMEs than the other provinces, with ratios of 50.3 and 47.8 per 1,000 population respectively. Prince Edward Island follows closely at 46.6 per 1,000 population. Ontario and Quebec have the lowest ratios at 35.2 and 35.6 per 1,000 population respectively.
In terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per SME by province, Nunavut has the highest ratio at $4,224,000 per location. (This is due to the low number of SMEs per 1,000 residents; therefore, its GDP is spread over fewer SMEs.)
More broadly, there is a negative relationship between the number of SMEs per 1,000 inhabitants and contribution to GDP per SME. A higher number of SMEs per 1,000 population corresponds to a lower GDP per SME. Alberta and Saskatchewan are exceptions, with a relatively high GDP per SME as well as a high number of SMEs per 1,000 residents.
Of the 1,107,540 employer businesses, 55.1 percent have only 1 to 4 employees (see Table 2). If the groups of employer businesses with 1 to 9 and 10 to 19 employees are included, they account for 87.4 percent of the business population. Goods-producing businesses make up 21.8 percent of all employer businesses, whereas the remainder provide services. Small firms make up 97.8 percent of goods-producing employer businesses and 98.3 percent of all service-producing employer businesses.
|Number of Employees||Cumulative Percent of Employer Businesses||No. of Business Locations|
|Total||Goods-Producing Sector1||Service-Producing Sector1|
|Source: Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2012.
Note 1: By definition, the goods-producing sector consists of manufacturing; construction; and forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas. The service-producing sector consists of wholesale and retail trade; accommodation and food services; professional, scientific and technical services; finance, insurance, real estate and leasing; health care and social assistance; business, building and other support services; information, culture and recreation; transportation and warehousing; and other services.
Table 3 presents the distribution of employer businesses by size in each industry. Over half of the 1.08 million small businesses are concentrated in four industries: wholesale trade and retail (18.8 percent), construction (11.7 percent), professional, scientific and technical services (11.6 percent) and other services (10.6 percent). As for medium-sized businesses, the distribution is different. Almost 52 percent of the latter is concentrated in wholesale trade and retail (22.9 percent), manufacturing (17.8 percent) and management of companies and enterprises and other support services (11 percent).
|Industrial Sector (Ranked by number of employer businesses)||Total||Employer Businesses|
|Source: Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2012.
* Includes management of companies and enterprises; administrative support, waste management and remediation services.
|Wholesale Trade and Retail||208,489||81,481||57,859||37,535||20,646||6,749||204,270||3,140||1,012||4,152||67|
|Professional, Scientific and Technical Services||127,612||96,547||15,134||8,347||5,022||1,475||126,525||688||327||1,015||72|
|Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing||97,664||59,854||15,283||9,955||9,708||1,619||96,419||620||406||1,026||219|
|Health Care and Social Assistance||90,078||51,008||18,125||11,443||5,967||1,988||88,531||1,056||432||1,488||59|
|Accommodation and Food Services||76,105||20,560||18,143||17,035||14,385||4,661||74,784||1,004||259||1,263||58|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises and Other Support Services*||64,814||35,192||12,525||7,452||5,155||2,143||62,467||1,255||736||1,991||356|
|Transportation and Warehousing||52,532||34,821||7,242||4,615||3,617||1,252||51,547||509||364||873||112|
|Information, Culture and Recreation||32,493||16,057||5,894||4,423||3,742||1,284||31,400||670||285||955||138|
|Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||13,365||9,400||2,001||976||639||217||13,233||85||27||112||20|
|Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction||9,771||5,621||1,312||1,165||858||418||9,374||212||127||339||58|
The greatest variation across industries occurs among micro-enterprises. While the highest percentages of micro-enterprises are found in the professional, scientific and technical services (75.7 percent), agriculture (71.9 percent) and forestry, fishing and hunting (70.3 percent) industries, the lowest percentages are found in accommodation and food services (27.0 percent) and manufacturing (33.9 percent).
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