Today’s Poll

Report shows growth in B.C.’s small business sector

By Contributor
October 19th, 2016

There’s nothing small about the continued growth of B.C.’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 B.C. Small Business Profile is one of the key tools we use to monitor the health of this important sector and ensure our programs and policies are doing all they can to support B.C.’s entrepreneurs,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

“The report shows that the sector remains strong and confirms that we are on the right track to achieve our goal of being the most small business-friendly jurisdiction in North America.”

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

Additional B.C. 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 B.C. 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 B.C. total approximately $12.9 billion— over 36% of B.C.’s total exports with 53% of exports destined for the U.S.A.
  • Small businesses per capita in B.C. 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 B.C’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 B.C. an enticing place to start a small business such as quality of life and competitive tax rates, both of which rank B.C. 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.

Quick Facts:

  • The Small Business Profile is created by BC Stats and has been published annually in October since 1997.
  • Small businesses make up 98% of all business in B.C. and employ over one million people. 51% are self-employed with no employees.
  • Small businesses provide 55% of all private-sector jobs in British Columbia, the second highest rate in the country.
  • There were approximately 388,500 small businesses operating in B.C. in 2015 – 313,500 have fewer than five employees.
  • Approximately 38% of small business owners in B.C. are women, above the Canadian average of 37%, an increase compared to last year’s report.

Categories: Business

Other News Stories