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September 4, 2002 Volume 5, Number 7


Introduction - Editor's Comments

* What's New at

* Statistics Canada releases

* State of Small Business in Canada

* How Well Do You Know Your Tweens

* Small Business Stats Facts

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I wish I could say we have spent the last two months on vacation somewhere
exotic but instead we have been grappling with every sort of technological
demon that exists!  Foolishly we purchased a new computer system and were
promptly inundated with headaches. Our most epic battle has been with our
server. I apologize to anyone who tried to access the site the last week of
August.  Everything appears to be running fine now. (Knock on wood!)  We
also had a network virus pop up which has since been contained and
eliminated. I will not continue our litany woes any further but suffice to
say many of our projects have been delayed.

The 2002 edition of Researching a Small Business in Canada however has
finally been released. The new edition runs 975 pages in length and
contains nearly double the references of the 2001 guide (thetas more than
6500 references!).  They have also been organized into more detailed
sub-sectors which should help researchers find appropriate sources more
quickly.  Other additions include information on the 2001 Census and how to
access it and detailed information on which industry sectors have seen the
greatest increase and decline in small businesses.

The guide is available in three formats: Internet download, CD-ROM and
paper.  For the 6th edition the paper version is bound loose-leaf and will
include one semi-annual update free with each purchase.  In the future you
will not have to buy a paper version of the guide each year.  You will only
need to buy updates which will be priced lower than the Internet download

For more information on this year's edition and for ordering information see:

I hope you find this issue helpful and you can expect the next one before


John White




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

Coupon Industry Association of Canada
Site Summary:
Highlight Facts & Figures about coupon use in Canada.

Export Development Canada
Site Summary:
Data related to Canadian export markets and Canadian export readiness.

Opticians Association of Canada
Site Summary:
Highlight Facts & Figures about opticians in Canada.

Roller Coaster DataBase
Site Summary:
Statistics on roller coasters around the world.

IDC Canada
Site Summary:
Canadian PC Market

Software Human Resource Council
Site Summary:
Data on IT labour force in Canada




The following statistics were release by Statistics Canada over the last
summer.  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.


Farm operators' total income 2000

Livestock Estimates Jul 1, 2002


Annual Survey of Advertising and Related Services

Annual Survey of Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing

Annual Survey of Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental
and Leasing

Employment services


Annual Survey of Software Development and Computer Services - 2000


Arts, entertainment and recreation services

Newspaper publishers


Multifactor productivity growth

Private and public investment - revised 2002 Intentions


School board revenues and expenditures 1999

University tuition fees 2002/03


Access to health care services in Canada, 2001

Health of Canada's Communities - 2001

How healthy are Canadians? Annual report 2002

Health of the off-reserve Aboriginal population 2000/01


High-speed Internet by cable - 2001

Household Internet Use Survey 2001

Internet service provider industry - 2000


Crime statistics - 2001


Energy consumption by manufacturing industries


Changing conjugal life in Canada

Changing Demographic Trends & the Use of Home Care Services

Family income 2000

Income of individuals 2000

Life Tables, Canada, provinces and territories, 1995-1997

Shift work and health

Trends in Canadian and American fertility 1980 to 1999

Unionization and fringe benefits 1999

Work absences

Workplace and Employee Survey: Better jobs in the new economy?


Oil and gas extraction industry: Volume and value of marketable production
- 2001

Oil and gas extraction industry: Capital and operating expenditures - 2001


Annual Survey of Traveller Accommodation - 2000

Characteristics of international travellers First quarter 2002
(preliminary), years 2000 and 2001 (revised)

Domestic travel 1998 to 2001

Traveller Accommodation Survey 2000 (preliminary)




(The following article is excerpted from "Research a Small Business in
Canada 2002" For more details see:

This last year has been a challenging one for small businesses.  Economic
downturns, stock market surprises and tragic world events have tested the
resolve of the sector.  Canadian entrepreneurs however have risen to the
challenge and actually thrived in uncertain times. The following is a
statistical snap shot of the state of small business in Canada: its
accomplishments, its challenges and its outlook.

Number of Small Businesses

The number of small businesses in Canada continues to grow. In December
2001 there were just over 2 million small businesses operating in Canada
(businesses with less than 20 employees).  More than half (55.7%) of these
businesses were classified as "indeterminate" - businesses that do not
maintain employee payrolls, but may have a workforce that consists of
contracted workers, part-time employees, family members or business owners.

These smallest of small businesses are the prime drivers of small business
growth in Canada.  Increasing at nearly double the rate of the sector as a
whole, there were 161,104 more "indeterminate" businesses in 2001 than in
the previous year. 

The number of employer businesses on the other hand remained virtually
unchanged between 2000 and 2001.  There was however a shift in composition
towards establishments with fewer employees.  Businesses with 1 to 9
employees expanded by 1.2% or 9,349 while their larger cousins (10 to 19
employees) actually declined in numbers by 2.2% or 2,644 businesses.

Economic Activity

Over the last year (June 2001 to June 2002), growth in the small business
sector has not been limited to numbers of businesses.  Economic activity
within the sector has soared. According to the CIBC Small Business Economic
Index, during the first 4 months of 2002, small business activity
accelerated by 8.2%, outperforming the economy as a whole by 1.3%. 

In the manufacturing sector alone the percentage of small businesses
reporting increased production levels jumped from 28% in the 4th quarter of
2001 to 41% in the 2nd quarter of 2002, while the percentage of firms
reporting increased orders also rose from 16% to 28%.

Labour Force

All of this increased activity has triggered demand for more labour.  Again
according to CIBC between June 2001 and June 2002, employment in firms with
less than 20 employees grew by 2.8% as compared to 1.2% growth in firms
with 500+ employees.  In fact small business provided just under 40% of all
new jobs in Canada during the one-year period.  Small businesses are
recognizing the quality of workers being downsized by major corporations
and are securing the talent for themselves.

It should be noted however, that the chronic problem of labour shortage
among small businesses has not disappeared.  In a recent survey the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that there were still
265,000 small business job vacancies with 185,000 of them being open for at
least 4 months.  More than one in four (26%) of small business in 2002 had
at least one job vacancy due to a lack of skilled labour.  This continued
shortage is preventing small business economic growth from reaching its
true potential.


Labour is not the only issue facing Canadian small business. Despite recent
reforms by federal and provincial governments, taxes continue to be a top
concern among entrepreneurs.  According to a recent survey of Canadian
entrepreneurs by Profit magazine the most serious issue facing the sector
is taxes (cited by 70%).  In a separate Grant Thorton LLP survey 81% of
owner-managers said that minimizing taxes was extremely or very important
to them.  And according to the CFIB, more than a quarter of small
businesses feel tax levels are even getting worse.


Small business challenges by no means end with taxes & labour shortages.
According to Grant Thorton LLP 71% of Canadian owner-managers state that
running a small business today is more stressful than it was five years
ago.  The biggest problem is time.  More than 65% indicate that lack of
time prevents them from increasing business growth and improving customer
service.  Day to day activities, employee issues and financial matters all
take priority in maintaining business health. In fact 9% of respondents
indicated that merely keeping their businesses alive consumed the majority
of their time.

Small Business Outlook

Despite the on-going challenges and demands of running a small business,
many Canadians still dream of being their own boss.  According to the
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 7.4% of Canadian men aged 18 to 64 and
5.1% of women are considering or just starting a new business in Canada.
An additional 2.1% of men and 2.3% of women are currently operating a new
business less than 42 months old.    In total there are an estimated 2.1
million Canadians currently involved in new entrepreneurial activity in

The vast majority (68.8%) of these people are entrepreneurs by choice.
They see an opportunity and are pursuing it on their own accord.

Most established entrepreneurs also remain very optimistic.  According to
the latest CFIB business conditions survey (June 2002) 43% of small
businesses in Canada experienced somewhat or much stronger performance over
the last 12 months and an impressive 62% expect even better performance
over the next 12 months.   30% even expect to hire additional help.

Exporters are also excited about the potential of the world economy.  The
Economic Development Canada Trade Confidence Index for small business
exporters was 80.0 in Spring 2002, an 11 point jump over Fall 2001 (post
9/11) and a 9 point gain over confidence levels of one year ago.

So is this the year to start a new small business?  There are certainly
some major challenges to consider but also some interesting opportunities
available.  Of course, when in doubt ask an entrepreneur.  According to
Profit Magazine's survey, 59% of entrepreneurs say "go for it!"




Your target market should be well defined and understood.  Demographics
such as age and gender are generally the starting point of every business
plan's market description. While demographics help us to compile a basic
framework for a particular market, it must be recognized that despite what
David Foot says (author of Boom Bust Echo) there is more involved in a
purchasing decision than your age.

Tweens (children aged 8 to 14) are one of the latest "most sought after"
demographic segmentations.  According to the 2001 Census there are
2,869,145 tweens in Canada.  Their combined disposable income alone is
estimated at $1.8 Billion.  However this target market is by no means a
homogenous group.  The differences in interests by gender alone is

The Census can tell you how many tweens are in your local market and even
provide you with their gender breakdown (see: but to fully
research this market you must go beyond the Census numbers.  You need to
understand tweens and which psychographic niches within the age group most
closely reflect your best market opportunity.

For example according to the YTV Kid & Tween Report, Canadian tweens are
Internet savvy.  84% have access to the Internet and they spend on average
5 hours per week online.  However if you are planning on setting up an
online gaming site you need further details about the demographic.  For
example, only 4 in 10 tweens have high-speed access.  If your site requires
massive downloads you must recognize your market is not every tween online.
Also boys are most interested in online gaming.  Girls consider e-mailing
as their favourite online activity.  None of these details indicates that a
online tween focused gaming site will fail.  It does however indicate that
the market size is not 2.4 million tweens (84% of 2.8 million).  (See:

Participation in certain activities is influenced by more than the number
of birthdays a child has had.  For example according to Statistics Canada:

"Research has shown that certain groups of children tend to face more
barriers to participation in activities than others. NLSCY data showed that
in 1998/99, children who were least likely to participate in organized
activities were those in lower income families, those with very young
parents, those whose primary care-giver had less than a high school
education and those in single-parent families." See:

If your business involves providing sports or art/music activities to
tweens you need to research your market to make sure its financial and
educational resources are sufficient to suggest an opportunity exists.  You
can do this using publications such as Canadian Demographics by the
Financial Post and taxfiler data.

You also need to determine how the purchasing decision is made.  According
to a recent survey conducted for Zellers "More than half (58 per cent) of
those in this age group say their friends have the greatest influence on
what clothes they like."  (See: In this case you
need to know what the "word on the street" is. The YTV Kid Trends Report
provides insights into what their viewers see as the latest trends in what
is "hot". (See

For your market research to be insightful it must go beyond basic
demographics.  Start with Census data but look to other sources for the

The above references were sourced from Researching a Small Business in
Canada 2002.  There are 19 other references in the source list category:
Market: Age- Tweens.  The guide will help you find similar insights for
other demographic markets. For more information see:




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

1. Canadian CFOs were asked: If you had the necessary capital, how
interested would you be in starting your own business, of any type?"

Very interested......................... 37%
Somewhat interested..................... 26%
Not at all interested................... 35%
Don't know/no answer.................... 2%

Source: Robert Half Management Resources (August 2002)

2. What percentage of SMEs (Small & Medium Size Businesses) are
Seed/Start-up Firms?  What percentage are Declining Firms? What percentage
are Fast-growth Firms?

Seed/Start-up Firms......5%
Declining Firms.....9%
Fast-growth Firms.....13%

Source: SME Financing in Canada, Industry Canada (August 2002)

3. What is the Gender of the Principal Owners of Canadian SMEs?

Of all Canadian SMEs:
54.7 percent are 100 percent owned by men;
45.4 percent are wholly or partially owned by women;
19.0 percent are owned equally by men and women; and
14.9 percent are wholly owned by women.

Source: SME Financing in Canada, Industry Canada (August 2002)

4. What percentage of business owners have more than 9 years of experience
in the industries in which they operate?

Females: 76%
Males: 87%

Source: SME Financing in Canada, Industry Canada (August 2002)

5. What percentage of small businesses plan to increase employment?

Survey results from December 2001: 8%
Survey results from June 2002: 23%

Source: CIBC, Statistics Canada



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: 08/06/03
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