Alberta Tops List of Entrepreneurial Cities; Okotoks Comes in at Number 6!


Six of top 10 cities from Alberta; low rankings for Calgary and Edmonton reflect lack of focus on small-business friendly policies

CALGARY – According to the 2015 Entrepreneurial Communities Report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Alberta once again dominates the annual rankings of Canada’s best places to start and grow a business, with six of the top ten municipal areas in the overall national rankings located in the province.

“We’re pleased to see so many of Alberta’s cities recognized as good places to own and operate a business.  Each municipality has an unique story but the common theme is entrepreneurial spirit that drives them,” says Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director for CFIB.

The annual study assesses which cities have best enabled entrepreneurs and small business to start, grow, and prosper.  The report looks at the entrepreneurial environment in 121 of the most populous municipalities (roughly 20,000 people or more) across Canada according to information drawn from published and custom tabulated Statistics Canada sources, as well as survey research conducted with CFIB members.

The 2015 study covers 14 indicators grouped into three areas: presence, perspective, and policy.  Presence covers the scale and growth of business ownership,perspective measures optimism and growth plans, and policy represents the actions local governments take with respect to business taxation and regulation.  Scores in those three major categories are combined and weighted to provide an overall score and ranking.

Again this year, the study separates Canada’s largest cities, including Calgary and Edmonton, from the surrounding municipal areas and ranks each.

The 2014 overall rankings:

1.     Calgary periphery, AB (the municipalities of Airdrie, Rocky View, Cochrane, and Chestermere)

2.     Penticton, BC

3.     Kelowna, BC

4.     Grande Prairie, AB

5.     Collingwood, ON

6.     Okotoks, AB

7.     Brooks, AB

8.     Edmonton periphery, AB (the municipalities of Strathcona County, St. Albert, Parkland, Spruce Grove, Leduc, and several smaller municipalities)

9.     Lloydminster, AB

10.  Swift Current, SK

The 2015 ranking for the other Alberta’s cities on the list are: Camrose 11th, Lethbridge 18th, Medicine Hat 19th, Fort McMurray 21st, Red Deer 23rd, City of Calgary 45th, and City of Edmonton 48th.

“Although many factors that impact business success are outside the purview of governments, cities do control property taxes, regulatory regimes, and municipal operating budgets.  Creating business-friendly policies in these areas goes a long way for entrepreneurs,” concludes Ruddy.

Read the full report here.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

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