Coralee Oakes, Minister

Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction has said that “B.C.’s tech sector remains strong and continues to create jobs, build vibrant communities and grow the provincial economy. Budget 2016 supports tech growth by lowering the small business tax rate, increasing the venture tax credit program and investing $40 million in broadband internet service for rural communities to help ensure this sector can continue to thrive.”

Growth in the province’s small business sector remained strong through the fourth quarter of 2016 as outlined in B.C.’s Small Business Quarterly Report released today.

During the last three months of 2016, new business incorporations increased 10.8% and business bankruptcies declined 27.7%, which is among the lowest recorded in recent years. Additionally, the number of small businesses in B.C. in December 2016, excluding people who were self-employed, was 188,057, up 1.9% from a year earlier.

This latest edition of the Small Business Quarterly examines small businesses in B.C.’s tech sector, noting 9,905 businesses, of which 96% are small businesses, are tech-related according to the latest statistics available from 2015.

The Small Business Quarterly also reports that B.C.’s tech sector employs more people than mining, oil and gas, and forestry combined and accounts for 4.9% of the province’s workforce. High tech, defined by BC Stats as technology at the cutting edge and usually associated with strong economic growth and advanced technological development, created $26.3 billion in revenue and contributed 7% of B.C.’s GDP to the provincial economy in 2015. B.C.’s tech sector is the third largest high tech workforce in Canada behind Ontario and Quebec.

The Small Business Quarterly is a publication created by BC Stats. Each quarterly issue takes an in-depth look at one particular small business area, for example women entrepreneurs were featured in the third quarter edition. The report also gives a general update on the state of the overall sector through that quarter.

The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of British Columbia’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen B.C.’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.