Survey of the Canada Emergency Business Account

Detailed information for first quarter 2021




One Time

Record number:


The objective of this survey is to collect information related to the Canada Emergency Business Account to verify if the funds from this program are helping Canadian businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data release - December 17, 2021


The Canada Emergency Business Account, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of the largest business support programs ever implemented by the Government of Canada. It was launched in the spring of 2020. Information collected through the survey will help government better understand the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. This information provided may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Reference period: first quarter 2021


  • Business adaptation and adjustment
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Government
  • International trade
  • Labour
  • Merchandise exports

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada ( ISED ) provided a list of businesses that applied for a loan. Those approved were linked to Statistics Canada's Business Register (BR). The BR is an information database on the Canadian business population and serves as a frame for all Statistics Canada business surveys.

Instrument design

The survey questionnaire was designed by Statistics Canada in collaboration with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and its consortium of partners. The Questionnaire Design Resource Centre of Statistics Canada made suggestions to improve the questionnaire and then field-tested the questionnaire with nine different businesses. The results of those tests were used to further improve the questionnaire.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The sample design consists of a stratified random sample of enterprises classified by industry, geography and employment.

Sampling unit
Small and medium enterprises

Stratification method
The stratification is done within eleven industry groups, individual provinces with the territories grouped together and four employment size classes.

Sampling and sub-sampling
The sample is allocated at the estimation domain level in order to achieve a standard error of 4% when estimating proportions of 50%. The total sample size consists of 31,143 enterprises of which 29,056 were sent to collection.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2021-04-19 to 2021-05-27

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

For this survey, we are contacting approximately 29,000 enterprises that were approved to receive a Canada Emergency Business Account loan.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

A series of edits were applied to the collected microdata to identify errors and inconsistencies.


For categorical data, donor imputation was performed within homogeneous classes. For continuous variables, nearest neighbour methodology within classes was used.


Weights were adjusted for non response according to the score method and later calibrated to the strata-level population counts. Weighted point estimates of proportions, total and averages were obtained through the Generalized Estimation System (G-EST) along with the variance estimation using the Taylor linearization approach.

Quality evaluation

This methodology does not apply.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

The accuracy is measured by the standard error for categorical data and by the coefficient of variation for totals and averages. To take into account the non-response mechanism, the variance is calculated using a 2-phase sampling design.

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