Fort St. John dominates BMO small business study

Fort St. John has the most small businesses per capita in Canada.

A report by BMO Capital Markets Economics ranked the number of small business enterprises per 1,000 population to get a handle on the current intensity of small business in particular communities.

The Energetic City scored first place, with 71.2 small businesses in the area per 1,000 residents. The report cites the oil, natural gas, forestry, and agriculture industries as the area’s key industries, as well as a growing tourism sector that attracts overseas visitors.

Cities across the country were seperated into two groups: Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (like Vancouver and Toronto) and Census Agglomerations (such as Fort St. John and Grande Prairie.)

In total, 144 cities were ranked.

In the CMA category, Kelowna, B.C. received the top score, with 39.7 small businesses per 1,000 residents. Calgary scored second place, and Vancouver was in third.  The majority of metropolitan areas that made it into the top-ten list, are situated in the western provinces.

Meanwhile, in the CA category, Lloydminster, on the Alberta / Saskatchewan border ranked second behind Fort St. John, while Canmore, Alberta, scored third. Only cities in Western Canada made the CA top-ten list.

The BMO Capital Markets Economics report says small businesses are the backbone of communities across the country, that provides both "heft and dynamism to our economy."