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November 17, 2001 Volume 4, Number 10


* Introduction - Editor's Comments

* What's New at

* Statistics Canada releases

* Counting Competitors

* Market Research Handbook 2001

* Small Business Stats Facts



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Welcome to this issue of the BR Newsletter.

Only a few more days before the 2001 Small Business Information Expo! GDSourcing will have a booth at this year's show so if you are in the Toronto area drop by and visit with Shawna or myself.

The Expo is located at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario.

It runs for three days over the weekend:

Friday, November 23, 2001: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Saturday, November 24, 2001: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 25, 2001: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

For more details see:


We plan to have the following products available to view and purchase:

- Researching a Small Business in Canada (publication and CD-ROM),

- Financial Ratios by Industry for Small Businesses

(including a free data update as soon as it is released Dec/Jan)

- Canadian Market Estimates

(including a free data update as soon as it is released in Jan/Feb)

- Market Research Handbook 2001 (20% discount off cover price)

- Spending Patterns in Canada (20% discount off cover price).


I will also be presenting a short seminar - "Finding free and low-cost Canadian data" - on Friday morning at 11:15.

This year's show is presented in conjunction with Computer Fest. For the price of one admission you get into both shows!

See ya there!

In other news, we have released the Oct 2001 StatsPack of Canadian Internet Statistics. You can download it FREE of charge at the Canadian Internet DataPoint:

We have also introduced a new FREE service whereby we will send you an e-mail as soon as new Canadian data on the Internet is released. You can subscribe and unsubscribe at:

The 2001 edition of the Market Research Handbook is now available. It is an excellent sourcebook for up-to-date Stats Can market data. We are offering a 20% discount off the cover price ($100 instead of the retail price of $125). You can order online or offline. For more information see our web site at:

Also see the article below.

Finally, I thought I would quickly add in here (because I did not know where else to put it) a helpful feature of the Google search engine.

Many reports and articles on the Internet are now only available in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format. While this allows complete reports to be easily published electronically, it can sometimes slow down your research efforts while you wait for off-topic PDF files to load in your browser.

When I research online I regularly use two computers. One doesn't mind PDF files but the other (Old Faithful) is not particularly happy when I ask it to load them.

In this case, if I use the Google search engine ( ) it automatically creates an HTML version of any PDF files it comes across that are relevant to my search criteria.

Below the page title in the Google results list you will see the following information: "File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML". By clicking on the "view as HTML" link you will be able to get a quick glimpse at the pdf file to see whether or not it contains the type of data you are looking for. If it does, you can then take the time to download. If it doesn't, you can quickly move on.

Just a helpful pointer in case your computer is like mine and is not a top-of-the-line-just-released-yesterday model!

I hope you find this issue helpful.


John White






The following web sites were added to the GDSourcing index over the summer GDSourcing is a reference point for free Canadian statistics on-line.


The College of Family Physicians of Canada

GDSourcing Site Summary:

- 2001 National Family Physician Workforce Survey


Canadian Corporate Information

GDSourcing Site Summary:

- This site provides links to corporate data and company profiles as well as overall industry performance figures and related associations and organizations


Grant Thornton LLP

GDSourcing Site Summary:

- Juggling priorities: survey results on the priorities, challenges and trends affecting owner-managers of Canadian companies today





The following statistics were release by Statistics Canada over the last three weeks. We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Very few of these statistics are available on-line. The URL listed is a direct link to the press release associated with the data. It provides contact and ordering information.

If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please see our web site:

We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount on Stats Can electronic products. For more information you can reach us at Put "StatsCan" in the subject line of your e-mail.

We have identified below which releases have a FREE publication associated with them.



Self-Sufficiency Project 1998 (preliminary)




Telecommunications statistics 1999




Flows and stocks of fixed residential capital 2000




Provincial gross domestic product 2000


Input-output tables

Provincial input-output tables for 1997 (revised data) and 1998 (preliminary data), as well as the interprovincial and international trade flows for the same period




University enrolment 1999/2000


School performance of children from immigrant families 1994 to 1998

(Free publication)



Environmental protection expenditures in the business sector, 1998

(Free publication)



Public sector statistics 2000/01




Homicide statistics 2000




Market Research Handbook 2001

(Stats Can Price $125 - GDSourcing Price $100)


Population estimates by age and sex July 1, 2001


Food consumption in Canada, Part II, 2002

(Stats Can Price $35 - GDSourcing Price $28)

Family income 1999


Marriages 1998




Business Conditions Survey: Manufacturing industries October 2001




Canada's mineral production, preliminary estimates, 2000

(Free publication)




International travel 2000




Workplace and Employee Survey: Job vacancies 1999

(See related free publications listed at above address)





The starting point of any analysis of market share potential or competitive opposition is to first determine the overall number of competitors you have.

The most comprehensive tally of establishments in Canada is the Statistics Canada database Canadian Business Patterns. It is updated semi-annually and contains data that reflect counts of business establishments by:


- nine employment size ranges, including "Indeterminate"(businesses with no full-time employees);

- five geography groupings: province/territory, census division, census subdivision, census metropolitan area and census agglomeration;

- two industry classifications: Standard Industrial Classification (4-digit level) and North American Industry Classification System (6-digit level).


The data is based on Canada Customs & Revenue Agency Business Numbers and includes all Canadian businesses that meet at least one of the following criteria:


1. have an employee workforce for which they submit payroll remittances

2. have a minimum of $30,000 in annual sales

3. are incorporated under a federal or provincial act and have filed a federal corporate income tax form in the last three years.


While the data is comprehensive it can be quite expensive. The entire database by geographic level is priced as follows:

Canada and provinces: $150,

Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations: $400,

Census Divisions: $600,

Census Subdivisions: $900,

Census Divisions and Subdivisions: $1500

Full CD: $2000

If you just want one industry for a local area, custom tabulations start at $150.00.

If your research budget is slim, before you consider purchasing any Stats Can figures, check to see if your local government or a local business development organization has already purchased and published them for you. This data is used extensively by other organizations and can be found in a variety of publications. For example the Toronto Business and Market Guide published by the Toronto Board of Trade includes detailed business counts for the GTA by industry and employee-size groupings.

Highlight data from this database is also included in the Market Research Handbook 2001. It covers total number of businesses by 2-digit SIC-E for Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations (small cities). At a national level it also includes detail by employee-size groupings.

Data at a national summary level is also available free of charge at the Statistics Canada web site:

While the Statistics Canada data is probably the most comprehensive available there are other sources for business counts. One source that we particularly like (because it is free) is at the InfoUSA/InfoCanada web site:


This is a business directory/mailing list company. Their data is primarily based on business telephone listings. If a business has a business telephone line they are included in the database.

At the above web address, click on the section "business sales leads and mailing lists" then click on "start building my Canadian prospect list". The online program allows you to select the following criteria:

- line of business (Yellow Page Heading, Major Industry Group, or SIC (U.S.)),

- employee-size,

- sales volume size,

- geography (city, postal code, metropolitan/agglomeration areas).


The results page identifies the number of businesses that meet your criteria in their database and the actual price to purchase the related mailing list. NB: if you choose SIC as your industry classification type, you can search for businesses that have your industry code as either their primary or secondary line of business.

You can use this database to further segment businesses in your industry by simply adjusting the search criteria you enter. (e.g. first search on all florists in your market, then search on the number of florists with less than 5 employees to determine the % of florists in this employee-size range). (Of course, if you purchase the mailing list you will get those details as well as the company names and addresses.)

While it is possible to browse for your industry in both the Statistics Canada and Info Canada databases, it is best if you know your industry classification code ahead of time. Note that the US SIC codes used by InfoCanada are different from the Canadian SIC codes used by Statistics Canada.

The easiest way to determine your Canadian industry codes is to use the search feature at the Statistics Canada web site:

If you prefer, you can also browse the entire structure of both classification systems:



The InfoCanada web site also has an industry search feature. You can either search by Yellow Pages heading or by U.S. SIC code. When you choose SIC as your industry category you will see a link to an Excel file that provides you with an alphabetical listing of US SIC codes.

You can also use the following U.S. government resource for help identifying your U.S. SIC code:

Obviously more is required when assessing market share and competitive challenges than merely identifying the number of competitors you have but without knowing the size of the "world" it is difficult to accurately "map it."

Use the above sources as a starting point to determine the overall size of your competition.





The 2001 edition of the Market Research Handbook is now available. This annual Stats Can best seller is an authoritative sourcebook of socio-economic information reflecting key characteristics of local and national markets in Canada.

It is a comprehensive compendium of demographic, economic, expenditure and business data. It presents profiles of key industries including the small business sector, as well as of consumers in all provinces and 45 major cities. It also includes projections of population, households, families and selected economic indicators.

The Handbook is a frequently used reference tool at GDSourcing. The extensive data tables provide easy access to fundamental market information such as population projections, retail sales, business bankruptcies by industry, business counts, consumer/industrial price indexes, financial ratios by industry, disposable income, labour force data etc. This data allows us to create a quick sketch of a client's market and helps us to develop our research strategy. It is the "launch pad" for nearly all of our HPS Profiles.

What is particularly useful is that at the bottom of each table contact information is provided so that you can telephone the appropriate Statistics Canada division directly to find out what further information is available and to clarify data definitions. We often use the Handbook as if it were a Stats Can catalogue with samples.

All of the tables represent the most current Stats Can data available. In most cases this means data covering 1999 or 2000. One serious exception is the 1996 Census data that is used for some of the local demographic detail. While this data is helpful, its usefulness is starting to wane. Unfortunately, detailed 2001 Census data will probably not be released until 2003.

While the Handbook provides many insights into local markets, you will need to consult other sources to complete your local demographic profile. We find that as an overview sourcebook the Financial Post Canadian Markets publication is the best companion to the Market Research Handbook. Together these two resources provide a solid start to any market research project.

Both can be found in most major libraries and local business development centres.

We are happy to be able to offer the Market Research Handbook 2001 at a 20% discount off the cover price. (Stats Can price $125. Our price $100)

For more information on the Market Research Handbook or to order a copy (online or off), please see our site at:





Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five statistics that every entrepreneur should be aware of.


1. What issue consumes the most amount of time for Canadian owner-managers?


Source: Grant Thornton LLP (Oct 2001)


2. What is the top issue owner-managers would spend more time on if they could?

Business Growth

Source: Grant Thornton LLP (Oct 2001)


3. What percentage of Canadian owner-managers would encourage others to start their own business?


Source: Grant Thornton LLP (Oct 2001)


4. What percentage of owner-manager businesses in Canada have not yet focused significant attention on e-commerce opportunities?


Source: Grant Thornton LLP (Oct 2001)


5. How many self-employed workers are there in Canada?

2.32 million (2nd Q 2001 - down 4% from 2.42 million recorded for the same quarter in 2000)

Source: Statistics Canada (Sept 2001)



G D S O U R C I N G - R E S E A R C H & R E T R I E V A L

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UPDATED: 05/11/03
1998-2003  GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval