Measure Description

Edmonton Small to Medium-sized Business measures the percentage of growth in the number of small to medium-sized businesses in the city. They are defined as businesses with 1 to 49 employees. Data comes from the Canadian Business Patterns database and is released twice a year by Statistics Canada. Information is gathered from the Business Register, which maintains a complete, up-to-date and unduplicated list of all active businesses in Canada that have a corporate income tax (T2) account, are an employer or have a GST account with an annual gross business income of more than $30,000.

Measure Importance

The climate for entrepreneurship in Edmonton impacts the growth of small to medium-sized business. This is seen as a measure of the City’s success in maintaining business-friendly policies and providing small business support.

Historical Data

Edmonton Percentage Change in Small to Medium-sized Businesses

Data source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Business Patterns database

CMA Percentage Change in Small to Medium-sized Businesses

Data source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Business Patterns database.

CMA Annual Bankruptcy Rates

Data source: Industry Canada – Office of the Superintendent of BankruptcyCanada.

Explanation of Performance

Edmonton small to medium-sized businesses saw a further decrease to -1.4 percent in 2017 compared to -0.4 percent in 2016. Despite the overall decrease, businesses with 10 to 19 employees saw the most growth. According to Statistics Canada, the industries of oil, construction and sales saw the most growth compared to 2016 for businesses with 10 to 19 employees. The rise in oil prices and related sectors are leading to more economic activity in the region. The further decrease in small to medium-sized businesses could be attributed to the slower economic recovery over the past few years that would have directly impacted the purchasing power of consumers and the demand for goods and services.

The City of Edmonton’s programs such as Business Retention and Expansion program, Urban Form Business Transformation, Business Improvement Area support, Corner Store and the Open Window have helped create an environment for small business growth, support and retention.


An additional measure of the growth in small to mediumsized business for the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is provided. This measure is also broken down by the number of businesses. The Edmonton CMA trend is consistent with that of the City as the economic drivers for the regional economy are similar to that of Edmonton.

The Edmonton CMA Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Rate and Annual Business Bankruptcy Rate provide insight into how Edmonton’s climate for business may impact small to medium-sized businesses. It also provides a comparison to overall business growth in the region. The Edmonton CMA Annual Business Bankruptcy Rate provides information on business failure, while the Edmonton CMA Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Rate provides insight into how this business failure rate compares to the rate of consumer insolvency. The data shows no change in consumer and business bankruptcy rates for 2017 compared to 2016.

Useful Links

For information about the City's strategic plan, The Way Ahead: