Small Business Has Big Impact On BC Economy


(All images in this article are sourced from the BC Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction report, ‘Small Business Profile 2015.’)

Small businesses play an important role in our provincial (BC) and the Canadian economy.

BC Small Business Has Highest GDP Ratio Among Provinces!

According to BC’s Small Business Profile 2015 report, issued this month by British Columbia’s Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, BC “small businesses generated approximately 33% of the province’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, well above the Canadian average of 30% and the highest ratio among the provinces.” (emphasis added)

Roughly 98% of all businesses in BC (and Canada) are small businesses. Small businesses are those that employ fewer than 50 employees, according to the report.

80% Of All Businesses In BC Are Micro-Businesses

Small businesses with fewer than 5 employees are considered micro-businesses. Micro-businesses represent 4 out of every 5 businesses in the province!

In fact, 51% or 199,900 small businesses employ only the owner (with no paid help) and the other 28% or 109,400 employ fewer than 5 employees.

Only 10% or 37,100 small businesses employ 10 or more employees! The other 88% or 345,600 small businesses (including micro-businesses) employ fewer than 10 employees.


Small Businesses in British Columbia (2014)


Small Businesses Employ 54% Of All Employed Individuals!

When it comes to the workforce, small businesses in BC employ 54% (1,010,800) of all employed individuals!

  • 21% (395,900) of all employed individuals are self-employed.
  • 33% (614,900) of all employed individuals are employed by small business.

The remaining 46% (847,800) of employed individuals are employed by large businesses.

Private Sector Employment in BC

Provincial Comparison - Small Business Per 1000 People - 2014

Other Tidbits On Small Business

Here are a few other  tidbits from the ‘Small Business Profile 2015‘ report:

On average, self-employed people in BC tend to:

  • be older (32% are aged 55 and over; 17% are under the age of 35)
  • be men (although 37% are women in BC)
  • work longer hours (average 36.9 hours, compared to 34.9 hours for employees; 25% work 50 or more hours per week, compared to 4% of employees)
  • retire at an older age (median retirement age 65.8, compared to 63.3 years for employees)

BC Tied for #1 for Small Businesses Per Capita

In 2014, BC tied with Saskatchewan for first place in terms of small businesses per capita, 82.6 per 1000 people. The Canadian average in 2014 was 70.9.

Breakdown of Small Businesses By Industry

79% of small businesses in BC are in service sector industries; 21% in goods sector industries:

  • 22% professional and business services (services sector)
  • 14% construction and utilities (goods sector)
  • 11% wholesale and retail trade (services sector)
  • 10% health and social services (services sector)
  • 9% finance, insurance and real estate (services sector)
  • 9% other services (services sector)
  • 5% information, culture and recreation (services sector)
  • 5% transportation and storage (services sector)
  • 4% accommodation and food (services sector)
  • 4% educational services (services sector)
  • 4% primary industries (goods sector)
  • 3% manufacturing (goods sector)

Clearly small business in BC, plays an important role in our province and has a big impact on our economy!


Click here to download a copy of the Small Business Profile 2015 report, issued by British Columbia’s Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.