BC Small Business Pulse January 2011

BC Monthly Business Starts

Business Starts: Like last year, there was little change in the number of BC businesses registering in December. The number of registrations dropped by 81 to 4,527 for the month. Registrations include proprietorships, partnerships, incorporations, and extra provincial registrations (corporations outside of BC). In December, proprietorship and partnership registrations fell more than incorporations and extra-provincial registrations increased. Last December, incorporations and extra provincial registrations grew slightly more than the drop in proprietorships and partnerships.

There were 290 more starts in this December compared to last December.

There were 55,432 businesses registered in 2010, 5,137 (10%) more than 2009. The average number of monthly BC starts in 2010 was 4,619.

Source: Government of BC Prepared by: Small Business BC


BC Business Bankruptcies

The number of BC business bankruptcies continued at a low level in October with 12 insolvencies, one less than in September and 11 less than in August.

With October’s small number of insolvencies, the average number of bankruptcies over the last 12 months continues to be lower than the previous period. There have been 233 business bankruptcies over the last year compared to 412 for the previous year, a 43% drop.

Source: Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcies Prepared by: Small Business BC

BC Self-Employed

The number of self-employed in BC increased slightly by 900 over the month to 410,700 in December. The number of BC self-employed has dropped by 36,300 since August of this year.

Compared to December 2009, there were 36,900 fewer self-employed, an 8% difference.

With the low number of BC self-employed in December, there were fewer self-employed, on average, over 2010 compared to 2009. The average in 2010 was 441,667 self-employed, 7,417 fewer than in 2009, a two percent difference.

Source: Statistics Canada  Prepared by: Small Business BC

Where are BC’s Self-Employed

Historical explanations of changes in self-employment involve the business cycle. As the business cycle declines, the unemployed become self-employed which increases the population of self-employment. Conversely, when the business cycle improves, those self-employed working on a contract basis with a company become employees and therefore reduce the population of self employed. The later explains BC’s recent drop in self-employment. Since August, the number of employees in BC has increased by 42,300 while the number of self-employed has decreased by 37,200.

Self-employment has been declining since August in all provinces except Alberta and Quebec. The number of employees in Alberta has declined by 12,100 since the summer while the number of self-employed has increased by 20,600. Furthermore, Alberta’s unemployed has decreased by 21,700 for the same period. So the increase in Alberta's self-employment has come from the unemployed. Self-employment in Canada has declined by 66,700 since August while the number of employees has increased by 96,200.

Small Business Employment

Small business employment increased by approximately 10,500 between Q2  and Q3 in 2010 to reach 685,385, a 1.5% increase between periods. Total BC employment also increased by less than one percent. The big change occurred in the micro group (0 to 4 employees) which grew by 42% over the quarter. Conversely, the 20 to 49 employee group shrunk by 26% while the middle group increased by less than one percent.        

For further information on BC small business statistics email:

Source: Statistics Canada  Prepared by: Small Business BC

Mark Eversfield headshot

About Mark Eversfield

Mark is a Market Research Analyst and has worked at Small Business BC for over 10 years. He specializes in helping clients with market research.