Small businesses have big economic impact

October 17, 2017 10:10 am

Saskatchewan’s small businesses contributed almost a third of the province’s gross domestic product in 2016 at 31 per cent. This information was contained in the 2017 Saskatchewan Small Business Profile, released during Small Business Week taking place from October 15-21, 2017.

Small businesses are those with fewer than 50 employees, and account for more than 98 per cent of all businesses in Saskatchewan.

The province has 129 small businesses per thousand people, the highest rate in Canada and above the national average of 105. Saskatchewan ranks third nationally, for the share of its total economic output generated by small businesses.

“We know that small business in Saskatchewan is actually big business,” Economy Minister Steven Bonk said.

“These enterprises help to grow our economy, create jobs and encourage investment in communities across the province - contributing to the quality of life we all enjoy.”

The theme for this year’s Small Business Week is Future-proof your business: Adapting to technology and demographic trends.

In 2016, Saskatchewan’s more than 148,500 small businesses employed 31.1 per cent of the province’s workers and paid out more than $6.2 billion in wages and salaries - 25.7 per cent of the province’s total payroll.

As well, the wages paid in this sector grew by an average of 3.1 per cent, the second fastest growth rate among Canada’s provinces.

“Small businesses are active in almost every sector of the economy, and are a source of innovative products and services that advance our quality of life,” Bonk said.

“The provincial government is committed to creating and maintaining a positive business environment with policies that enable this sector to thrive.”

The Government of Saskatchewan has invested in a number of initiatives, services and programs that support the small business sector.

Some of these include:

The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant, an employer-driven program which helps employers train new or current employees to meet their specific workforce needs.

A highly competitive tax structure which includes tax credits for research and development, as well as for manufacturing and processing equipment expenditures.

The Regulatory Modernization and Accountability Act, removes red tape that could be a road block to business, and to remove some of the barriers to growth. In 2016-17, approximately $6.5 million was saved by businesses through red tape reduction initiatives introduced by the provincial government - part of $65.4 million in savings projected over the next 10 years.

A number of events are taking place across the country during the 2017 BDC Small Business WeekTM. In Saskatchewan, these include numerous seminars focused on branding and marketing, financial reporting, intellectual property and a host of other topics. A list of events is available on the BDC website at

More details on small businesses and their impact in Saskatchewan can be found in the 2017 Saskatchewan Small Business Profile at