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SME Research and Statistics

Resources for Canadian businesses

Managing your business during COVID-19

SME in Canada

  • Definition
    Small: 1-99 employees;
    Medium: 100‑499 employees;
    Large: 500 employees and more;
  • Number of businesses with employees in 2019
    Small: 1,200,571 (97.9%)
    Medium: 22,905 (1.9%)
    Large: 2,978 (0.2%)
    Total: 1,226,454


    Source: Statistics Canada, Business Register, December 2019
  • Number of private sector employees in 2019
    Small: 8,459,593 (68.8%)
    Medium: 2,428,356 (19.4%)
    Large: 1,415,550 (11.5%)
    Total: 12,303,499


    Sources: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey (LFS); and calculations by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Debt financing requests by SMEs in 2017
    Request rate: 25.6%
    Approval rate: 86.6%


    Source:Survey on Financing and Growth of SMEs, 2017
  • Contribution to gross domestic product (GDP)

    Between 2011 and 2015, small businesses accounted for 40.6% of GDP, while medium-sized businesses accounted for 12.7%.

    Source: KSBS, November 2019

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