A report from the provincial government released on October 17 shows just how important small businesses are to the provincial economy.
According to the Small Business Profile 2011, there were 391,700 small businesses operating in the province in 2010, which accounts for 98 per cent of all businesses in BC. Although large industries are commonly thought of as the biggest employers, those small businesses employed 1,038,300 people in BC which accounts for 57 per cent of all private sector jobs in BC, which is the second highest rate in the country.
The profile illustrates that more British Columbians received wages last year from small business than anywhere else in Canada. Annual earnings for B.C.’s small business workers increased 14 per cent over the past five years, compared with an increase of 12 per cent for employees of larger businesses..
Small business represents 30 per cent of the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Between 2009 and 2010, small businesses also created 13,700 new jobs, an increase of 1.3 per cent compared to the 1.1 per cent seen in the large business sector.
And while many question how small businesses can get involved in international trade, the report shows that in 2009 $10.9 billion to other countries, which accounts for 47 per cent of all exports.
In the Nechako/North Coast region, which covers the northwest to the Cariboo and up to the Yukon border, there were 6,400 small businesses operating in 2010. Of those business, 461 were tourism related.
Nationally, small businesses make up 99.8 per cent of Canadian business and employ 60 per cent of private sector workers.
The Small Business Profile has been produced for over a decade by Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Province and BC Stats, and is released to coincide with British Columbia’s Small Business Month, held in October, and Canada’s Small Business Week.