A new report suggests Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses did better at weathering the recession relative to large firms.
RBC Economics says this was likely due to lower exposure to external markets such as the United States.
The bank says the results counter concerns that “smaller enterprises are generally more impacted by economic downturns.”
The RBC report focuses on the private sector.
It found that private small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 300 employees were better able to cope with the effects of the recession.
In addition, businesses that depend on the U.S. export market had a more difficult time than those more focused on the domestic market which was not hit as hard by the recession.
Over all, employment at the smaller companies fell 4.2 per cent during the recession, compared with 5.5 per cent among larger private firms.
“During difficult economic times, businesses often find themselves laying off workers and stalling their hiring initiatives,” said Mike Michell, director, Small Business, RBC.
“However, private sector SMEs appear to have created business strategies that have ultimately helped them come out of the downturn relatively unscathed.”