Wintering the Business Economy in Canada

- Leadership - May 15, 2013

The May edition of the Business Review North America is now live!

By: Tina Samuels 

Have you ever stopped and thought about how the small business market is doing in Canada? Wonder what parts of the country might be most receptive to small businesses? Lastly, is your small business doing better or worse than your fellow Canadian business owners?

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Network there are more than a million small businesses in Canada.

This isn't counting independent contractors – but while the number seems significant, the statistics are staggering when you take in consideration the number of all businesses in Canada:

  • 1,138,761 – number of businesses as of 2010 data.
  • 1,116,423 – number of small businesses in that data.

This means that in Canada 98% of all businesses are small business.

There is some data for individuals which point to about 15% of all workers in the country being self-employed, though independent contractor data is not precise. Not all independent contractors report their business which can skew data. The actual amount of individual workers could be much higher.

Employee Statistics

Recent data has shown that well over five million of the people employed in Canada work for one type of small business or another. That's over half of the total workforce.

No matter what city you choose to open a small business in, Canadians utilize the products and services of small businesses more than any other industrialized nation.

Part of this can be directly connected to Canadians open approach to technology and business. The country is typically more receptive to new ideas and approaches than many other industrial nations around the world. 

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Success In Canada

Small business are established in the thousands throughout Canada every year. Many are successful, so successful that over 80% of exports for Canada came from small business (2005-2007 data).

Out of all exporters in the country, 86% were small businesses. In 2009 the amount generated from small business export was $68 billion which was fully a quarter of all revenue in Canadian exports. The amount of revenue generated for GDP (gross domestic product) and exports from Canadian small business has been growing every year. It is safe to say that small business can be very successful in Canada.

The government offer help to small business owners and encourages the growth of such companies through numerous programs. Healthcare is also more affordable in Canada which may offer help in reaching successful launches and extended growth.

Where To Go

While most of Canada is receptive to small business, the coastal provinces provide the most opportunity for small businesses in the western part of the country.

In the East the most successful businesses are established in Ontario, most notably Toronto. Businesses established near the U.S./Canada border may see an increased amount of business due to customers from both countries.

To the west, artisan businesses do well in Vancouver. The area is well known for being eco-friendly, art friendly, and progressive. Any business that focuses on new or unique products or services will enjoy a higher rate of success in this area.

For anyone that is considering starting a new small business in Canada the following cities are always a good bet: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Nova Scotia has had an upswing in growth and could be considered as well.

About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on how to remove personal information, how to clean up your social media, and the basics of small business.

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