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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 2020, Hamilton was home to 15,782 businesses with employees (noting that this includes not-for-profit businesses and registered charities) and 34,653 businesses operating with zero employees.

Hamilton’s Business Counts

City of Hamilton (CSD)
As of June 2021, Hamilton was home to approximately 15,714 businesses (including registered charities and not-for-profit organizations). Approximately 57.9% of Hamilton’s employers employ fewer than four people, and 76.2% of employers employ nine or fewer people. There are approximately 36,463 businesses operating without employees (i.e. establishments providing self-employment) in Hamilton.

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Hamilton’s Business Counts
Micro (1-4 employees)9,102
Small (5-99 employees)6,308
Medium (100-499 employees)275
Large (500+ employees)29

Canadian Business Counts, June 2021

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, June 2021

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 4.7% of all businesses in Hamilton.

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Top-5 Small Business Sectors
Food & beverage service 736
Specialty trade contractors499
Ambulatory health care services453
Professional services388
Administrative and support services298

Canadian Business Counts, June 2021

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 Food and Beverage Stores. Businesses in this sector account for 0.2% of all businesses in Hamilton.

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Top-5 Medium Business Sectors
Food & beverage service25
Administrative services25
Nursing and residential care 23
Ambulatory health care services15
Specialty trade contractors12

Canadian Business Counts, June 2021

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 0.04% of all employers in Hamilton.

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Top-5 Large Business Sectors
Hospitals7
Educational services4
Primary metal manufacturing2
Transportation equipment manufacturing2
Postal service2

Canadian Business Counts, June 2021

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 26.1% of all zero-employee businesses.

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Top-5 Zero-Employee Business Sectors
Real estate9518
Professional services3627
Ambulatory health care services2007
Specialty trade contractors1996
Securities and financial investment1542

Canadian Business Counts, June 2021

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

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