If you're one of those die-hard skeptics about small-business job generation, check out a new report from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Titled The State of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada. It is one of the most cogent pieces of small-business economic research I've seen in a while, and it provides a tantalizing glimpse of the dynamics of our neighbor to the north and its individual provinces, with special emphasis on Atlantic Canada. Among the findings: Large companies employ almost half of the work force but create less than one in every 10 new jobs. Small companies -- that is, those with fewer than 100 workers -- employ a little more than a third of the work force but are responsible for 81% of all the new jobs.

Those results are completely consistent with the ones David Birch has been reporting in the United States for more than 12 years. Aside from buttressing Birch, the numbers challenge the prevailing view in this country of a Canadian economy that relies too much on large companies excessively dependent on natural resources.

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