Nearly half (46.5%) of Québec SME’s requested outside financing in 2014

Québec, February 21, 2017 – In 2014, 46.5% of small- and medium-sized Québec enterprises (SMEs) requested outside financing, a proportion slightly smaller than for SMEs in Canada as a whole (51.3%). Financing instruments were not diverse, being generally limited to debt financing. About a third (33.4%) of SMEs took out a debt financing, compared with 12.1% that sought trade credit financing, 7.4% that sought lease financing, 5.6% that sought government financing and 1.4% that sought equity financing. Note that in 2015, just over 257,000 of Québec SMEs had employees, which accounted for 20.5% of the total number of SMEs in Canada. In Québec, SMEs employed 2.4 million people, a figure corresponding to 91.6% of private sector employment in the province. These findings are drawn from the report called Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in 2014 released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Overall approval for financing requests is generally satisfactory, regardless of the type of outside financing instrument involved For the largest financing request made by SMEs, the overall approval rating for each type of outside financing instrument examined – debt financing (85.4%), trade credit financing (97.2%), lease financing (97.0%) or government financing (80.8%) – was generally satisfactory and similar to that observed in Canada as a whole (respectively 82.1%, 98.3%, 98.2% and 82.8%).

A small proportion of SMEs (6.4%) experienced strong growth

Even if 63.4% of Québec SMEs recorded simple growth of their sales or total revenue between 2012 and 2014, a very small proportion of them (6.4%) experienced strong growth. This proportion was slightly less than that observed in Canada as a whole (9.3%), but as large as that observed in OECD countries in 2012 and 2013.

Québec SMEs listed more major obstacles to their growth than their counterparts in Canada as a whole

Between a fifth and a quarter of Québec SMEs listed five major obstacles to growth that they deemed significant: increasing competition, fluctuations in consumer demand, governmental regulations, the corporate tax rate and the rising cost of inputs. A similar proportion of SMEs in Canada as a whole only mentioned two of the five: fluctuations in consumer demand and increasing competition.

Principal sale destination for Québec SME sales remained an SME’s own municipality or region

Over 92.9% of Québec SMEs made sales in their municipality or region in 2014, which accounted for three quarters (75.5%) of their total sales on average. The breakdown for the three remaining destinations was as follows: 50.5% of SMEs made sales in the provincial market outside the SME’s municipality or region (accounting for 17.4% of total sales on average); 17.8% made sales in the rest of Canada (accounting for 3.6% of total sales on average); and 11.2% made sales in the international market (accounting for 3.5% of total sales on average).


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.