10/22/2015 10:16 EDT | Updated 10/22/2016 05:12 EDT

Canadian Economy Kept Afloat By Small Business In 2015 Slowdown: CIBC Report

TORONTO — Small business helped keep Canada's economy afloat during choppy economic waters over the past year, according to a new study from CIBC.

The bank's research showed businesses with less than 500 employees created roughly eight in 10 of all the new private sector jobs in the past 12 months.

CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal, who co-authored the report, said small businesses have been boosted by consumer spending, which has maintained growth despite the economic contraction in the first half of 2015.

Yet Tal cautioned that small and mid-sized businesses need to look beyond the Canadian market if they are to maintain their growth.

He said the fall in the value of the Canadian dollar against the European and American currencies is an opportunity for Canadian companies to boost their exports.

Only 10 per cent of Canada's small and mid-sized businesses are involved in exporting, according to the report, a level that hasn't changed in 15 years.

Also on HuffPost

B.C. Small Business Owners' 2015 Resolutions