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Hamilton’s Business Counts by Size

This page presents a breakdown of the number of businesses operating in Hamilton, as of the most recent Canadian Business Counts data release, by business size. These data are a timely and reliable insight on Hamilton’s businesses and the sectors in which they operate.

As of December 2022, Hamilton was home to 16,348 businesses with employees (noting that this includes not-for-profit businesses and registered charities) and 37,111 businesses operating with zero employees.

Hamilton’s Business Counts

City of Hamilton (CSD)
As of December 2022, Hamilton was home to approximately 16,348 businesses (including registered charities and not-for-profit organizations) with employees. Approximately 56.0% of Hamilton’s employers employ fewer than four people, and 75.0% of employers employ nine or fewer people. There are approximately 37,111 businesses operating without employees (i.e. establishments providing self-employment) in Hamilton.

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Hamilton’s Business Counts
Micro (1-4 employees)9,163
Small (5-99 employees)6,860
Medium (100-499 employees)296
Large (500+ employees)29

Canadian Business Counts, December 2022

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s business sectors

Top-5 Microbusiness Sectors

City of Hamilton (CSD)
A microbusiness is the smallest of small businesses, typically employing four people or fewer. These are also the most common type of business in both Hamilton and Canada. This table notes that the largest microbusiness sector in Hamilton is found in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Businesses in this sector account for 7.7% of all businesses in Hamilton.

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Top-5 Microbusiness Sectors
Professional services1209
Ambulatory health care services1051
Specialty trade contractors814
Truck transportation638
Real estate420

Canadian Business Counts, December 2022

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s business sectors

Top-5 Small Business Sectors

City of Hamilton (CSD)
While the specific definitions of a small business can fluctuate from one market to the next, it is generally seen as inclusive of businesses that employ between four and 99 people. The largest small business sector in Hamilton is Food Services and Drinking Places. Businesses in this sector account for 4.9% of all businesses in Hamilton.

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Top-5 Small Business Sectors
Food & beverage service795
Specialty trade contractors537
Ambulatory health care services483
Professional services429
Administrative and support services342

Canadian Business Counts, December 2022

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s business sectors

Top-5 Medium Business Sectors

City of Hamilton (CSD)
Medium-sized businesses typically employ between 100 and 499 people. Hamilton’s largest representation among this group of businesses is found in Nursing and Residental Care Facilities. Businesses in this sector account for 0.14% of all businesses in Hamilton.

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Top-5 Medium Business Sectors
Nursing & residential facilities23
Administrative & support services22
Food & beverage retailers20
Food & beverage service19
Specialty trade contractors17

Canadian Business Counts, December 2022

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s business sectors

Top-5 Large Business Sectors

City of Hamilton (CSD)
Hamilton’s large businesses are, comparatively, few in number despite creating a very large economic and employment footprint within the city. A large-sized business employs at least 500 people. Hospitals are Hamilton’s largest sector at this size, and they account for 0.05% of all employers in Hamilton.

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Top-5 Large Business Sectors
Hospitals8
Educational services4
Administrative services2
Food manufacturing2
Primary metal manufacturing2

Canadian Business Counts, December 2022

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s business sectors

Top-5 Zero-Employee Business Sectors

City of Hamilton (CSD)
Hamilton is home to a range of zero-employee businesses that operate across the complete spectrum of goods and services-production. Insights on zero-employee businesses offer a key metric on local entrepreneurship activity. The largest sector in Hamilton for zero-employee businesses is Real Estate, which accounts for 28.1% of all zero-employee businesses.

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Top-5 Zero-Employee Business Sectors
Real estate10445
Professional services3747
Ambulatory health care services2094
Specialty trade contractors1917
Securities and financial investment 1480

Canadian Business Counts, December 2022

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s zero-employee business sectors

Adam Durrant

Looking for specific data? Contact Adam Durrant, Business Development Analyst.