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Strong showing for BC cities in 2016 Entrepreneurial Communities Index

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Kelowna & Penticton rank 3rd and 4th in Canada; BC now has 7 cities in top 25; BC results more a reflection of solid business presence & positive perspective than good policy

VANCOUVER, October 17, 2016 - According to the annual Entrepreneurial Communities Index from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC is now home to seven of the top 25 cities in the annual rankings of Canada’s best places to start and grow a business, including Kelowna and Penticton that retained their third and fourth ranking respectively.

“It is great to see BC’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, ” states Richard Truscott, Vice President, BC and Alberta.

The annual study assesses which municipal areas have best enabled small businesses 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 2016 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 policyrepresents 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 Vancouver, from the surrounding municipal areas and ranks each. The Vancouver periphery includes municipalities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) other than the City of Vancouver itself.

Cities in Ontario, BC and Quebec dominate the top 10 list in the overall 2016 rankings.

The 2016 overall 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 BC’s cities are: Kelowna 3rd (3rd), Penticton 4th (2nd), Cilliwack 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)

“It is important to also look more specifically at the policy rankings, since that is the one area where local governments have the most control. It shows BC’s municipal governments still have alot of work to do in terms of creating a better policy environment in areas like taxes and regulation,” concludes Truscott.

The 2016 policy rankings:

1. Camrose, AB

2. Lloydminster, AB

3. Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray), AB

4. Edmonton periphery, AB

5. Grande Prairie, AB

6. Shawinigan, QC

7. Brooks, AB

8. Okotoks, AB

9. Rimouski, QC

10. Alma, QC

The policy rankings for BC’s cities are: Chilliwack 16th, Port Alberni 27th, Prince George 30th, Penticton 31st, Salmon Arm 38th, Kelowna 48th, Campbell River 52nd, Quesnel 54th, Vernon 59th, Duncan 69th, Kamloops 73rd, Cranbrook 76th, Abbotsford-Mission 77th, Nanaimo 82nd, Fort St John 86th, Victoria 89th, Parksville 91st, Courtenay 114th, Vancouver periphery 117th, City of Vancouver 120th.

To arrange an interview with Richard Truscott, please call 604-684-5325. The full CFIB Entrepreneurial Communities Report is available at cfib-fcei.ca

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