Special edition of Key Small Business Statistics : Financing Statistics – December 2009
SME Marketplace in 2007
• According to the definition set out in the “How many businesses are there in Canada?” section, in
2007, Canada had roughly 1.6 million SMEs.1
• Nearly 85 percent of those SMEs operated in the service sector, with the remainder being goodsproducing businesses (15 percent).
• The distribution of SMEs by business size (meaning the number of employees) varies considerably
from sector to sector. Professional services enterprises and those in the agriculture/primary sector
are usually smaller (0 to 4 employees) than those in the manufacturing and wholesale/retail sectors.
Financing Activity of SMEs
• In 2007, nearly one seventh (13 percent) of SMEs applied for new or additional financing from a
lending institution for business reasons. Eighty-seven percent of the applications were approved.
• Chartered banks are the primary lending institutions funding SMEs, receiving 68 percent of
loan applications. In comparison, credit unions and Caisses populaires received 19 percent of
• Nearly half (45 percent) of businesses applying for credit did so to increase their working capital.
Five percent of businesses applied for a loan for research and development purposes.
• In 2007, 17 percent of SMEs applied for lease financing, with 92 percent of applications approved.
• As of December 31, 2007, just over two thirds (69 percent) of lease financing contracts had been
approved by finance and leasing companies. Canadian banks captured just under one fifth
(17 percent) of the leasing market at that time.