New Report Indicates Importance of Small Business to Province

October 24, 2016

BC – There’s nothing small about the continued growth of BC’s small business sector as outlined in the Small Business Profile 2016: A profile of small business in British Columbia.

The 2016 Small Business Profile includes updated key economic indicators such as job growth (including self-employment) and exports, trends by industry, regional breakdowns and cross- jurisdictional comparisons to report out on the health of the sector throughout the province.

The report outlines how small businesses continue to make up a sizeable part of BC’s gross domestic product (GDP). At 35% of GDP, BC was well ahead of the Canadian national average of 32%, and ahead of BC’s level of 34% in 2014.

Additional BC small business sector highlights from the 2016 profile include:

  • Small businesses continue to employ over one million British Columbians, which is 55% of all private sector jobs in BC and 45% of all employment in B.C.; both figures are an increase compared to the 2015 profile.
  • The accommodation and food services industry was the largest provider of new small business jobs with over 11,000 jobs created from 2010 until 2015.
  • Small businesses exports from BC total approximately $12.9 billion— over 36% of BC’s total exports with 53% of exports destined for the U.S.A.
  • Small businesses per capita in BC continue to rank first in in Canada with 83 small businesses per 1,000 people, far above the national average of 70.3.
  • There were 9,905 high tech businesses with employees in British Columbia in 2015, of those 96% were small businesses.

New to the 2016 report is a comparison of average earnings by province showing the difference in wages between small and large companies. The report shows BC’s small business workers have the smallest wage gaps in the country, compared to large business workers.

Also unique to the 2016 edition is a new section showing what makes BC an enticing place to start a small business such as quality of life and competitive tax rates, both of which rank BC favourably compared to other provinces.

While five regions throughout the province recorded growth in the number of small businesses between 2014 and 2015, this new section will also help the Province identify regions where small business growth is not as strong and may require targeted supports.

The 2016 Small Business Profile is an indispensable report that supports the BC Jobs Plan and #BCTech Strategy with important data which highlights that these economic initiatives are working.

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