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Canadian business counts, June 2020

Released: 2020-08-13

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered the business landscape since mid-March. Some businesses remain closed, many reopened in May and June to a completely new business environment, and some businesses have grown.

There were 1,320,207 employer businesses in Canada in June, and there were 2,895,374 non-employer businesses with revenues greater than $30,000 during the previous year.

The business counts released today cannot be used to measure the impact of the pandemic. These figures continue to include most businesses that closed in the months since the pandemic began. Businesses that close permanently will eventually be excluded, once business wind-down and closeout procedures are completed and confirmed, which can take several months.

For the first time, Canadian business counts are now available for every census metropolitan area and the census subdivisions within them.

  Note to readers

The Canadian business counts are produced semi-annually for each June and December, and the data are released in August and February. They can be used to compare numbers of businesses across industries, provinces and territories, and employment-size categories.

The counts include businesses identified as "active" on the Business Register, Statistics Canada's internal listing of Canadian businesses. Compiled primarily from Canada Revenue Agency tax records, the Business Register changes a business' status to "inactive" only once tax accounts are formally closed or become dormant over an extended period.

As usual, businesses are counted on the basis of the statistical concept of "location." Each operating location is separately counted, including cases where one business comprises multiple locations.

Also, as is the normal practice, Statistics Canada advises cautious interpretation of period-to-period changes in the counts since these can be impacted by administrative or methodological changes in the underlying Business Register data.

A Statistics Canada study published on August 5 provides estimated numbers of monthly openings and closures of businesses during the pandemic. The experimental figures compiled for the study use different methodologies and have no direct comparability to the counts released today, but provide insightful data and analysis on the effects of the pandemic on businesses.


Custom data products for other geographic levels can be ordered on a cost-recovery basis. Data prior to December 2011 are also available upon request on a cost-recovery basis.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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