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BC small businesses healthy, thriving

By Mario Cywinski |

BC: Small businesses in the province are thriving and are showing strong economic health according to two recent reports.

Small business accounts for over a third of the province's gross domestic product (GDP), the highest percentage of any province in Canada, according to the Small Business Profile 2009 report.

"Small business remains a vital source of job creation, innovation and economic stimulation in our province," said Iain Black, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development. "The latest Small Business Profile shows that B.C. is leading the country in the number of small businesses per capita, in the share of self-employed workers, in the sector's contribution to provincial GDP, and much more."

Small business employs nearly one million people, 56 per cent of private sector jobs, with 10,800 new jobs created in 2008. Of 384,300 small businesses in the province, 82 per cent have fewer than five employees, the report found.

Other findings in the Small Business Profile 2009:

  • 87.7 small businesses per 1,000 in 2008 (highest per capita in Canada);
  • 18.5 per cent of workers are self employed, 34 per cent of women;
  • 24 per cent increase in earning for small business over last five years.

"Not only is small business a mainstay of B.C.'s economy, but it is also a driving force in our economy, employing over one million people and making up 98 per cent of all B.C. business," Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver

Small Business Roundtable 4th Annual Report recently released made recommendations to help small businesses. They included:

  • leverage government resources,
  • be creative to retain employees,
  • help local community, and
  • participate in green economy.

The report recommended that provincial government continue to: support training and labour development, reduce regulatory burdens on small business, and reduce tax complexity.

"Our report emphasizes that small businesses in British Columbia are innovative and resilient, and can lead the way to prosperity," said Small Business Roundtable co-chair Linda Larson. "This resilience, coupled with the B.C. government's continued commitment to help small businesses succeed, is helping small businesses weather the economic storm."

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