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Regional comparison: B.C. leads Canada in small business growth.
Source: Source: Langley Advance, October 17th, 2006 Langley
Employment in B.C.'s small business sector grew four times the national average last year, according to the Small Business Profile 2006 released by Carol Skelton, federal minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification, and Rick Thorpe, B.C.'s provincial minister of small business.
Skelton explained, "Through Western Economic Diversification Canada's Business Service Network, a group of community-based organizations, we are providing small business owners with the resources they need to start and grow successful businesses."
"This is an incredible achievement by B.C.'s small business community, which continues to provide 57 per cent of the private-sector jobs in our province," said Thorpe.
Small Business Profile 2006 is the latest in an annual series of reports prepared by BC Stats with funding from Skelton's and Thorpe's ministries.
Highlights of this year's profile include:
It is estimated that there are more than one million British Columbians working in small businesses.
The number of small businesses operating in the province increased for the fourth consecutive year, up 1.7 per cent from 2004.
B.C. derives more gross domestic product from small business than any other province - 26 per cent, which is well above the Canadian average of 22 per cent.
98 per cent of all businesses in B.C. are small businesses.
B.C. was the highest among the provinces - almost 10 per cent above the Canadian average - in small businesses advertising on their own websites.
Regionally, the northeast portion of the province saw the fastest growth in the number of new small businesses over the past five years, with growth averaging 3.8 per cent - approximately 200 new businesses - per year.
"It is very encouraging to see significant small business growth in smaller communities and larger centres alike, and as the Small Business Profile illustrates, this is leading to unprecedented success," said Thorpe, who added that the provincial government has worked with the small business sector.
"Governments continue to demonstrate they understand the importance of the small business sector to British Columbia's economy," said Kevin Evans, western vice-president of Retail Council of Canada and vice-chair of the Small Business Roundtable. "The focus is on making British Columbia the most small-business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada, and the results are beginning to speak for themselves."
The Small Business Profile 2006 can be found at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/smallbusiness/information_guides.htm online.