They may be called "small" but small business is a major player in the Canadian economy.
Take, for example, job creation. Over a ten year period, beginning in 1997, over 37 percent of all new private sector jobs were created by small businesses. In fact, almost half the Canadian private sector workforce – 48 percent - is employed by small businesses. If we dig a little further, over two thirds of the employment of five major industries are in small business: non-institutional health care, construction, accommodation and food, forestry, and general services.
Although economic figures vary from source to source, it is estimated that small business in Canada generates from one third to half the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. From a human standpoint, small business accounts for more than 5.5 million jobs from coast to coast. Taking a closer look at the human aspect of the figures, 95 percent of all Canadian service-producing enterprises are considered to be small businesses.
It seems that many Canadians prefer to keep their businesses small. Statistics Canada reports that 75 percent of all businesses employ fewer than 5 employees. Furthermore, the Canadian desire to keep their businesses relatively small far exceeds their American counterparts. Canadian business owners continue to work at more advanced ages in order to maintain operating the business that they built. More than a quarter of self-employed Canadians are over the age of 55. According to studies, older Canadians enjoy the freedom of lifestyle that comes with being self-employed and prefer to work longer in years in order to maintain that freedom.
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