15 Canadian Small Business Facts and Figures

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Canada is a nation of small businesses.  In fact the vast majority of business in Canada are technically defined as small businesses i.e. less than 100 employees.  Industry Canada keeps track of the facts and figures as they relate to small businesses, some of the more interesting ones are enumerated below:

  • There were 2,428,720business locations in Canada at the end of 2010 representing an increase of 2% from 2009. Of these 2.406 Million were small business with less than 100 employees.

  • 1.2 million Businesses did not have any employees.

  • There were 1.087 Million businesses with less than 50 employees

  • Ontario had the largest number of small businesses at 387,986, while Quebec had the second largest at 242,710

  • Small businesses accounted for 98% of all the businesses in Canada.

  • In the first quarter of 2011, there were 2.6 million self-employed workers.

  • The largest numbers of self-employed workers were between the ages of 30 and 54 years old at approximately 1.578 million

  • Approximately 1.1 million self-employed individuals were incorporated.

  • By contrast there about 14.2 million employees in the first quarter of 2011

  • Businesses had a combined debt of $489 Billion

  • In 2009, about 86% of Canadian exporters were small businesses. Approximately $68 Billion of goods were exported by SMEs representing about 25% of the value of total exports .

  • 12% of manufacturing exports and 79.1% of retail trade exports came from small businesses.

  • 88% of the value of small business exports came from Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia

  • 29.9% of total exports by small businesses were mineral products. This was followed by machinery and equipment which represented 13.4% of total exports.

  • 87% of importers are small businesses. They account for 23% of all imports of which 50% come from the United States and 17% come from China.

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