Canada’s top places to start and grow businesses in 2014

Entrepreneurial CommunitiesNothing happens automatically.

A city grows only because residents are able to make their businesses grow—and a business only grows if the owner makes the decision to do so. In turn, owners only decide to grow if they have the resources to do it and if they believe the investment will have sufficient pay off in the future.

Vous remarquerez que Montréal et la ville de Québec ne sont pas dans le palmarès, je me demande bien pourquoi ?

Overall results

CaptureHistorically, and for a variety of reasons, CFIB has found entrepreneurial characteristics to be strongest in Canada’s prairie cities and the urban areas that ring large urban cores.

What they have in common is ‘newness’—the prairie economies have only been developed in the past 150 years or so. Only a few generations separate today’s urban prairie residents from their entrepreneurial forbearers.

Similarly, suburban entrepreneurs sought the benefits of urban markets already in place, but found outlying areas more conducive to the structure and cost of doing business.

One often sees higher entrepreneurial activity in resource regions as well—although economies there can suffer from wider boom and bust business cycles. Favourable resource development conditions will attract businesses seeking to service increased activity—and, when conditions deteriorate, a strong base of experienced business owners often becomes the primary pillar of community support.

Policy

Local government tax balance

The most important local issue to small business owners is total tax burden as it affects businessesbottom line and ultimately future business growth. Property tax is one of the most burdensome types of taxes for small businesses. The total property tax rate includes municipal, education and other components. The tax ratio is the commercial tax rate divided by the residential tax rate within the community. A low ratio indicates a more equitable distribution of taxation among ratepayers.

Cost of local government

Many businesses are concerned about how government spending can affect taxes in the long run because a heavy tax burden increases operating costs and reduces businesses chances of succeeding. The higher the cost of government, the greater the pressure put on tax revenues. A higher percentage of businesses citing the cost of government as an issue would suggest that a municipality is doing less to control spending and keep taxes at an overall reasonable level.

Local government sensitivity to local businesses

Business owners expect their local governments to be aware of their contributions to society and to help provide a sound environment for growth. The higher the percentage of business owners who feel that their local government is aware of the small business sector, the more likely that the local government is taking concrete actions to promote the sector and the more likely that the business will stay in operation and feel engaged in the community.

Local government regulations

Regulatory burden is the second most important issue for small business owners as it generates high costs to business owners in terms of time and money. The higher the proportion of business owners who cite regulatory burden as an issue, the worse off municipalities are in creating a sound environment for businesses.