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September 30, 2002 Volume 5, Number 8


Introduction - Editor's Comments

* What's New at

* Statistics Canada releases

* E-commerce data from Statistics Canada

* Small Business Growth Across the Sectors

* Small Business Stats Facts

For data table spacing, this newsletter is best viewed in Courier 10



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I must start off by saying we made an error in our last issue of the
newsletter. We mistakenly referred to the Export Development Canada as
Economic Development Canada. You can visit Export Development Canada at  We apologize for any inconvenience.

In this month's issue of Small Business Canada Magazine you can read our
special feature on the State of Small Business in Canada.  The issue is
full of other useful articles as well including "Customer Service: Beyond
Company Policy" and "Profiting from PR Power".  Make sure you get a copy.

As always it has been a busy September for us.  It is nice to have a few
fall temperatures to freshen the air.

I hope everyone has a wonderful (and tasty) Thanksgiving.


John White




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

Transparency International
Site Summary:

Includes International Corruption Perceptions Index 2002  & Bribe Payers
Index (BPI) 2002

Association of Canadian Distillers
Site Summary:

Annual statistics on the Distilling Industry.

WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme
Site Summary:

Oral Health Profiles by Country
Includes Oral Diseases, Oral Health Professionals, Dental Education




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:


Farm Environmental Management Survey
2001 (preliminary)

Grain stocks July 31, 2002


Improvement and Innovation in Construction Investments Survey 2000

Electric utility construction price indexes
Annual 2001 (revised) and first half 2002 (preliminary)


Cable and satellite television 2001


University finances 2000/01

Community colleges and related institutions: Post secondary enrolments and
1998/99 and 1999/2000


Commercial and Institutional Building Energy Use Survey 2000


Provincial and territorial government finance: Assets and liabilities As of
March 31, 2001


Health status of Canada's immigrants 2000/01


Electronic commerce: Household shopping on the Internet 2001


Homicides 2001


Energy consumption by manufacturing industries 1995 to 1998


Demographic statistics As of July 1, 2002 (preliminary)

Births 2000

Migration 2000/01

Approaching retirement 1993 to 1997

Impact of income on mortality in urban Canada
1971 to 1996

Time alone 1998

Union wage premium 1999


For-hire trucking (commodity origin and destination)
2001 (preliminary)

Domestic travel 1996 (revised estimates)




Over the last year the chaotic and frenetic growth of the Internet has
finally stabilized.  Although the online market continues to grow, gone is
the wild west atmosphere and the fantastic fluctuations in value and use.

It is no longer necessary to rely on the notoriously biased guesstimates
such as those bandied about in the late 90's and in 2000.  We can now look
at data that is based on sample sizes over a 100 people and use it in
analyzing market trends.  Statistics Canada Internet data has finally
become relevant and plentiful.

Last week Statistics Canada released results from 2001 Household Internet
Use Survey.   The news release itself is informative
( but the detailed
tables are even better

Unfortunately the data is not directly comparable to the 2000 figures but
this is probably for the best.  In the previous year only online
expenditures from home were collected. The 2001 coverage provides a truer
picture of consumer e-commerce, reflecting household online purchases
regardless of where the Internet was physically accessed.

The Statistics Canada survey also recognizes that the online market is not
restricted to online purchasers.  It segments online shoppers into three
principle categories:

1) WINDOW SHOPPERS (ONLY): Window-shopper households are those households
where all members reported only to have browsed for goods or services using
the Internet (i.e., neither ordered nor paid over the Internet).

2) ELECTRONIC COMMERCE: Electronic-commerce households are those households
where at least one member was reported to have ordered and/or paid for
goods or services using the Internet, for personal or household
consumption. These households may or may not have been window-shopper

3) ELECTRONIC PAYMENT: Internet shoppers in e-commerce households who made
an online payment for at least one of their transactions.

In 2001 it is estimated that there were 7.2 million regular-use Internet
households in Canada.  One in three of those households was classifed as an
Internet shopper but a sizable percentage of them (43.5%) only window shop
and have neither ordered nor paid for goods/services over the Internet.  It
is estimated that 2.2 million households (18.7% of all households) in
Canada have actually placed an ordered or purchased online (Electronic
Commerce Households).  The vast majority of these (79.2%) paid for their
purchases directly via the Internet (Electronic Payment Households).

This information in and of itself is instructive but when you cross this
data by product or service it is invaluable information for an online
business.  It is clear that some products are more likely to be
window-shopped online while others ordered or purchased. 

For example Housewares (furniture and appliances) are far more likely to be
window-shopped online than purchased while the opposite can be said for
books, magazines and newspapers.   The most popular product type overall
shopped online (both browsed and purchased) is Clothing, jewelry and
accessories.  However more households window-shop this category than
purchase it.  The long time champion of e-commerce, books, magazines and
newspapers, remains the  most popular product actually purchased online by
Canadians with 28.1% of regular Internet use households reporting such a

As can be seen, this segmentation provides insight into the overall effect
of online marketing, measuring success not only by dollars spent on-line
but in customers using the Internet to help influence an offline purchase

The survey also examines whether shoppers purchase from Canadian web sites
or from those outside of the country.  Canadians continue to be patriotic
with their online spending. 55.9% of online orders and 65.4% of dollars
spent online remain within Canada.   Although the data is not directly
comparable to 2000 data it does represent an increase of "made in Canada"
consumer e-commerce.

While the consumer data is informative, what makes Statistics Canada a
particular useful resource for researching an online business is the Survey
of Electronic Commerce and Technology.  This survey looks at e-commerce
from the business side of the equation.  Highlight data is available from
the following release: but the most useful
details are only available through the CANSIM database.  Go to the CANSIM
database (, select "Table Number" then type in
"358-0007..358-0015" (Without the " " but make sure you include the ..
between the numbers. This ensures the whole range is retrieved.

The CANSIM database provides information segmented by 3-digit North
American Industry Classification System which means you can find out what %
of appliance & electronics stores sell online, their volume of online
sales, what % of those sales are to customers outside of the country, what
% of appliance & electronics stores make their own purchases and their main
reason for using the Internet.

There is a $3 charge per time series to access this online database but if
you are starting an Internet business the detail far outweighs the minimal
cost.  Combined the two Stats Can databases provide a unique and
comprehensive picture of Internet use in Canada.  For example we could
compare Canadian consumer behaviour related to online electronics purchases
with the experience of appliance & electronics stores operating via the

The Internet is no longer in a primordial state but that does not mean it
is static.  Use the 2001 Statistics Canada data for the comprehensive
information it provides but make sure you also consult more current data
related to the e-commerce.  The NUA Internet surveys web site is a good
starting point for finding the latest reports released:

The latest issue of Researching a Small Business in Canada includes a
source list of over 600 Internet references with more than 130 released in
the last 6 months.  It also explains how and where to locate other stats
and how to stay current.  For more information see:

An Internet business is like any other business: success depends on a full
comprehension of your market, your industry and your competitors.   Use all
the resources available to ensure your business will thrive.





The number of small businesses in Canada continues to grow.  This growth
however is by no means uniform across all sectors.

IT and business consulting services remain the fastest expanding business
types for small businesses in Canada.  Between December 2000 and December
2001 there was a net increase of +1307 employer small businesses (1-19
employees) in the Computer Systems Design and Related Services Sector and
an increase of +1061 in Management Consulting Services.

Among non-employer small businesses the top two industries were the same
but in the opposite order.  The net increase in Management Consulting
Services was +8126 while Computer Systems Design and Related Services saw a
+7681 jump in establishments.

Industries where there was the greatest net decrease in small business
establishments were quite varied.  Non-employer small businesses abandoned
sectors with high capital costs such as General Rental Centres sector
(-963), Testing Laboratories (-738) and Construction, Transportation,
Mining, and Forestry Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing Services
Sector (-402). 

Employer small businesses on the other hand moved away from Services for
the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (-314) and from Limited-Service
Eating Places (-273).

The fact that there is an increase or decrease in the number of small
businesses represented in a particular sector is not an indication of
whether or not market opportunities exist within a particular industry.  It
is however an indicator of where new small businesses feel they can and
cannot succeed.

To find out how your sector ranks see the latest issue of Researching a
Small Business 2002 which includes data on all NAICS industries (6-digit





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

1. What kind of performance do Canadian SME (Small & Medium Size
Businesses) expect over the next twelve months (as of Sept 2002)?

Much Stronger 9%
Somewhat Stronger 42%
About the Same 37%
Somewhat Weaker 10%
Weaker 2%

Source: CFIB (September 2002)

2.  Which major sector had the highest % of businesses with web sites in 2001?

Information and cultural industries (65.1%)

Source: Statistics Canada (2002)

3.  Which major sector had the highest Internet sales with or without
on-line payment in 2001?

 Wholesale Trade ($1.9 billion)

Source: Statistics Canada (2002)

4.  Among Canada's fastest growing start-up businesses what % of their
revenue is from Exports?


Source: Profit Magazine (Sept 2002)

5. In which sectors do the Top 50 fastest growing start-up business in
Canada belong?
(by number of businesses)

IT-related business services.....14
Other business services..........13
Software development..............5
Consumer services.................4

Source: Profit Magazine (Sept 2002)



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UPDATED: 08/06/03
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