A small biz shakeup is coming to Canada

Many people dream of owning a small business, and lucky for them, there’ll soon be plenty of them hitting the market.  For instance, the person writing this story might have their sights set on taking over an existing ice cream parlour-petting zoo combo—dream big, right?

Driving the news: Over three-quarters of Canada’s small and medium-sized business owners want to exit their business within the next decade, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, but only 9% have formal succession plans.

  • Retirement was by far the most cited reason owners want to exit, a sign the Grey Wave that’s hollowing out Canada’s workforce is also hitting business owners.
  • Burnout and pandemic challenges were others, which is no surprise given that long-term small biz confidence is at its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis in the face of cost pressures and rising borrowing costs.

Why it matters: Small and medium businesses account for ~50% of Canada’s GDP,  employ over 80% of the workforce, and hold over $2 trillion in business assets. It’s vital to the economy that these businesses can stay in business after their current owners leave.