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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

September 25, 2023

Statistics Canada released updated data on monthly business openings and closures for June 2023. The data are seasonally adjusted.

Monthly (June 2023 vs May 2023, seasonally adjusted)

The number of active businesses in Nova Scotia declined 1.14% from May to June 2023 (going down to 20,547 active businesses).                                                   

Nationally, active businesses were down by 0.79%. All provinces reported lower numbers of active businesses in June 2023 compared with May 2023. The largest decline was reported in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

A business will be classified as 'opening' if it had no employment in the previous month and then has employment in the next month. A business is 'closing' if it had employment in the previous month and no employment in the current month. For opening and closing, the reason could be a permanent change (i.e. business exit) or temporary for reasons such as seasonal operations, capital maintenance or restructuring. Continuing business are those that had employment in both the current and previous month. Active businesses are the sum of continuing and opening business in the current month.

The rate at which business either opened, continued or closed can be examined to see how the number of active businesses has changed. The calculation for the opening, continuing and closure rates are based on the number of active businesses in the previous month. 

Most businesses continue operating each month. In June 2023, Nova Scotia's business continuing rate was 95.1%, the same as the national average. Quebec reported the highest business continuing rate (96.5%) while Newfoundland and Labrador (92.5%) reported the lowest.

Nova Scotia's business opening rate was 3.9% as of June 2023 (4.1% nationally). Prince Edward Island had the highest business opening rate (5.5%) while Québec had the lowest (3.5%).

Nova Scotia's business closing rate was 4.9% in June 2023 (4.8% nationally). Newfoundland and Labrador reported the highest business closing rate (8.0%) while Québec had the lowest business closing rate (3.7%).

Year-over-year (June 2023 vs June 2022)

Compared with June 2022, the number of active businesses was down 0.3% for Nova Scotia. Nationally, active businesses were 0.4% lower than in June 2022. All provinces except Prince Edward Island reported a lower number of active businesses compared with June 2022, with the largest decline in Saskatchewan.

The number of active businesses in the Halifax and East Hants Census Metropolitan Area was up 1.5% from June 2022 to June 2023. The East Hants portion of the CMA was only added in June 2022, and the addition of East Hants should not impact the annual comparisons going forward.  

Out of 35 CMAs, 16 reported growth in active businesses over the past 12 months while 19 reported decline in active businesses. Brantford and Windsor reported the largest rises in the number of active businesses while St. John's reported the biggest decline.

Compared with June 2022, the number of active Nova Scotia businesses in June 2023 was lower in mining/oil/gas, wholesale, retail, transportation, information/culture, finance/insurance/management, admin/support, arts/entertainment/recreation and personal/repair services. From June 2022 to June 2023, there were increases in the number of active businesses in construction, real estate/leasing, professional/technical services, and accommodation/food.

Nationally, the number of active businesses was down for forestry/fishing, mining/oil/gas, utilities, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation, information/culture, finance/insurance/management, administrative/support (including call centres), and arts/recreation. There were increases in construction, real estate/leasing, professional/technical services, accommodation/food, and personal/repair services. 

Statistics Canada has broken out specific data for tourism-related industries. Compared with June 2022, the number of active tourism-related businesses edged down 0.4% in Nova Scotia as of June 2023, with declines in transportation, recreation/entertainment, and food/bevarage, offsetting increases in travel services and accommodations.

Nationally the number of tourism-related businesses stayed the same compared to a year ago in June 2023. Growth in travel services, accommodations, and food/beverage were offset by declined in transportation and recreation/entertaintment. 


Construction, professional/technical, and admin/support accounted for the bulk of last month's growth for active businesses in Nova Scotia.

The source data is seasonally adjusted. The data may not aggregate due to firms being classified into multiple industry or geography.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 33-10-0270-01 Experimental estimates for business openings and closures for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areasMethodology: Business Opening and Closing

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