Chilliwack is adding to its reputation as an excellent place to launch and run a business.
Conditions are right, and the regulatory framework is better than most B.C. cities.
Chilliwack just cracked the top 10 in the 2016 Entrepreneurial Communities Index from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
Chilliwack rose from 16th place to 9th in the annual rankings by CFIB as the best place to start and grow a business.
“It is exciting to see Chilliwack recognized once again as a leading community in Canada to start and grow a business,” said Brian Coombes, president of Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.
“Making it into the top 10 list is a great accomplishment.”
Kelowna and Penticton held on to their top five rankings, nailing third and fourth place respectively.
The 2016 study measures 14 indicators in three areas: presence, perspective, and policy. Presence is the scale and growth of business ownership, perspective measures optimism and growth plans, and policy represents local governments’ approach to business taxation and regulation. Scores in those three major categories are combined and weighted to provide an overall score and ranking.
For Chilliwack lower property values and taxes as well as liveability, were likely factors, but also the work done by CEPCO to attract new ventures and retain existing business.
Chilliwack also was ranked 16th for policy strength, which was notably higher than any other B.C. community.
“We also found it encouraging to be the top ranked city in British Columbia for creating a policy environment that supports business growth and investment,” added Coombes. “This speaks to the continued commitment of the City of Chilliwack towards ensuring our community is business friendly in areas such as taxation and regulation.”
Capturing third, fourth and ninth place are nothing to sneeze at for B.C. municipalities.
“It is great to see B.C.’s cities recognized as good places to run a business, thanks in large measure to relatively strong economic growth.
“Longer-term, the key is creating a virtuous circle where entrepreneurship drives opportunity which, in turn, drives further entrepreneurship and growth, ” said Richard Truscott, CFIB vice president, B.C. and Alberta.
The annual study IDs which cities have best enabled small businesses to start, grow, and prosper. The report looks at entrepreneurial environment in 121 of the most populous municipalities (roughly 20,000 people or more) across Canada.
It’s not the first time Chilliwack has been recognized for being business friendly in its approach.
Data was drawn from published and custom tabulated Statistics Canada sources, as well as survey research conducted with CFIB members.
The 2016 rankings:
1. Collingwood, ON
2. Riviere-du-Loup, QC
3. Kelowna, BC
4. Penticton, BC
5. Toronto periphery, ON
6. Barrie, ON
7. Kentville, NS
8. Saint-Georges, QC
9. Chilliwack, BC
10. Cobourg, ON
The 2016 overall rankings (2015 in parentheses) for all B.C.’s cities are:
Kelowna 3rd (3rd), Penticton 4th (2nd), Chilliwack 9th (16th), Salmon Arm 13th (12th), Vernon 21st (29th), Victoria 24th (53rd), Prince George 25th (25th), Vancouver periphery 28th (30th), Parksville 30th (28th), Abbortsford-Mission 35th (47th), Kamloops 39th (46th), Nanaimo 42nd (39th), Duncan 56th (N/A), Quesnel 64th (61st), Courtenay 67th (83rd), City of Vancouver 72nd (94th), Port Alberni 74th (87th), Campbell River 86th (55th), Fort St John 95th (69th), and Cranbrook 96th (100th)