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    A large proportion of Québec SMEs requested financing in 2020, especially government financing

    Notice of release

    Québec, February 9, 2023. – Overall, 85.3% of Québec SMEs requested external financing in 2020 in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, a sharp increase from 2017 (43.0%). This proportion is similar to those observed in Ontario (82.4%, vs. 48.1% in 2017) and in Canada as a whole (82.7%, vs. 47.1%). These are some of the main findings from the publication Demande de financement externe des PME québécoises en 2020 released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    External financing includes debt financing, lease financing, trade credit financing, equity financing, and government financing.

    Among the SMEs that requested external financing:

    • 8% requested government financing (vs. 5.9% in 2017), in particular to overcome the constraints resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that forced businesses to close temporarily for an average of 10 weeks.
    • 3% requested debt financing (vs. 31.2% in 2017).
    • 6% requested trade credit financing (vs. 9.1%).

    When only the largest external financing request (in terms of value) per business is considered, government financing accounts for 41.1% of the total amount ($23,951 million) received by SMEs in 2020. This is less than debt financing, which accounts for 46.2% of the total amount received.

    The analysis produced for Québec by the Institut de la statistique du Québec is based on Québec microdata from the Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises, 2020 conducted by Statistics Canada between April and August 2021. The results are based on the responses of 2,369 businesses.


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

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