Impact of spring flooding on businesses in key areas across Canada

Release date: February 6, 2023

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In three regions selected for analysis, as of late April there were almost 3,800 business locations at risk of being affected by flooding. This included approximately 1,500 businesses in the Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac region, 1,500 in the Ottawa–Gatineau region (1,100 in Gatineau and 400 in Ottawa) and 800 in the Fredericton–Saint John region in New Brunswick.

In this second release on spring flooding (the first release was published in The Daily on May 17), Statistics Canada examines the potential impact on businesses, again using flood extent maps produced by Natural Resources Canada from satellite data acquired by the Canadian Space Agency from April 17 to 30, 2019.

Small businesses are most affected by flooding

Overall, about 85% of the business locations in or near flood areas had no employees, while 9% had one to four employees.

Businesses without employees are often individuals reporting business, professional or rental income for tax purposes. They could be doubly at risk if their home is both a place to live and a place to manage or conduct their business operations. The data reveal that the largest proportions of business locations in or near flooded areas are in the real estate and rental and leasing (25%), the professional, scientific and technical services (12%) and the construction (10%) sectors.

Larger business locations with five or more employees are also located in or near the flood areas, including 95 in the Ottawa–Gatineau region (77 in Gatineau and 18 in Ottawa), 47 in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, and 82 in the Fredericton–Saint John region.

Among the business locations with five or more employees, the most common industry sectors were retail trade (21%) and construction (19%).

Table 1
Spring 2019 flooding: Business location counts by affected region and employment size
Table summary
This table displays the results of Spring 2019 flooding: Business location counts by affected region and employment size. The information is grouped by   (appearing as row headers), Business locations
without employees, Business locations
with one to four employees, Business locations
with more than five employees and Total, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Business locations
without employees
Business locations
with one to four employees
Business locations
with more than five employees
Total 3,202 359 224 3,785
Fredericton–Saint John region (Saint John River) 646 102 82 830
Ottawa–Gatineau region (Ottawa River) 1,289 103 95 1,487
Ottawa (Ontario) 335 48 18 401
Gatineau (Quebec) 954 55 77 1,086
Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac region (St. Lawrence River) 1,267 154 47 1,468
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Note to readers

Statistics Canada used the boundaries of flooded areas identified through satellite data to extract a selection of relevant data from the Business Register, Statistics Canada's central listing of Canadian businesses, to produce the summary data presented in this analysis. The data are based on the statistical concept of "location"—that is, each operating location is separately counted, including cases where one business comprises multiple locations. For example, a retail business with 10 stores represents 10 business locations. Generally, among all Canadian businesses, 95% have one location. The data include all active Canadian business locations, regardless of their level of revenue or employment.

The 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System is used for these data.

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