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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

August 13, 2020

Statistics Canada noted in today's release that business counts as of June 2020 cannot be used to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as most businesses that closed in the months since the pandemic began are still included. Businesses that close permanently will eventually be excluded, once business wind-down and closeout procedures are completed and confirmed, which can take several months. 

The number of business locations in Nova Scotia with employees increased 0.6 per cent between Dec-2019 and Jun-2020. The number of goods producing locations increased 0.2 per cent, while total services sector locations was nearly unchanged (-0.03%). 

For goods producing locations in Nova Scotia with employees, the largest increases in percentage terms occurred in Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+3.5%) and Utilities (+3.0%). Construction (-0.6%) had the only decline in location counts among goods producing sectors from Dec-2019 to Jun-2020.

For services producing locations in Nova Scotia with employees, the largest increases in percentage terms occurred in Public Administration (+8.6%), Information and cultural industries (+4.0%), and Real estate and rental and leasing (+2.4%). The largest declines in percentage terms occurred in Arts, entertainment and recreation (-2.6%), and Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (-1.7%)


Provincially by Sector


Nationally, Goods sector locations with employees declined -0.4 per cent from Dec-2019 to Jun-2020. Nova Scotia (+0.2%) and Quebec (+0.4%) reported the only increases among provinces. In percentage terms, the largest decline was reported for Alberta (-1.9%), followed by Saskatchewan (-1.2%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.8%). 

From Dec-2019 to Jun-2020, the number of Services sector locations with employees increased 0.4 per cent across Canada. Saskatchewan (+1.0%) reported the largest increase in percentage terms, followed by Quebec (+0.8%) and Manitoba (+0.7%). Prince Edward Islands (-0.1%), Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.04%) and Nova Scotia (-0.03%) reported declines in Services sector locations. 


Nationally, total business counts for locations with employees increased 0.7 per cent from Dec-2019 to Jun-2020. All provinces reported increases, with the largest gains in percentage terms reported for Quebec (+1.1%), Manitoba (+1.0%) and Ontario (+0.7%).



Key definitions for Statistics Canada's Business Register: 

Statistical Enterprise

An enterprise is the legal operating entity at the top of the operating structure. There is only one enterprise per operating structure. It is associated with a complete set of financial statements.

Statistical Establishment

A statistical establishment is the production entity or the smallest grouping of production entities which:

  • Produces a homogeneous set of goods or services;
  • Does not cross provincial boundaries; and
  • Provides data on the value of output together with the cost of principal intermediate inputs used along with the cost and quantity of labour resources used to produce the output.

For example, a plant in the manufacturing industry which provides accounting information regarding the value of shipments (sales), direct costs and labour costs is considered a single establishment. However, two stores in the retail industry may be considered one establishment if the accounting information, described in item (c) above, is not available separately, but is combined at a higher level.

Statistical Location

The location is an operating entity, specifically a production entity which:

  • Conducts economic activity at or from a single physical location or group of locations;
  • Resides within the smallest standardized geographical area;
  • Is able to provide employment data at a minimum.

Multiple locations can be found under a single enterprise.



Canadian Business Counts, with employees, June 2020

Canadian Business Counts, with employees, December 2019


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