April 2018
Economic Development eNewsletter
Positive economic indicators kick-off 2018
The Prince George economy started off 2018 continuing the excellent momentum from 2017 with more positive growth and investment in the first quarter of the year. 

Here are some of the first quarter highlights for Prince George (January - March 2018):
  • Total value of building permits issued by the City of Prince George from January to March 2018 was $24,889,685. This is an 89.5% increase over the same time period in 2017 when the total value of building permits issued was $13,136,343.
  • Residential building permits remain strong in the first quarter of 2018 with total value issued coming in at $18,043,913 compared to the same time last year when residential building permits issued were valued at $7,469,533. This is a 141.6% increase in residential building permits over last year at this time.
  • Non-residential building permits also increased 20.8% in the first quarter, from $5,666,810 in 2017 to $6,845,772 in 2018.
  • Data provided by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation indicates 137 new houses sold from January to March of 2018, an increase of 328% over 2017 when 32 new houses sold in the same time period. The average price for new houses sold in March 2018 was $461,255.
  • Housing construction continues to thrive in the first quarter of 2018 with 2 single family dwelling starts and 10 multiple family dwelling starts, as well as 26 single family dwelling completions and 136 multiple family dwelling completions.
  • New business licenses are on the rise as well with 157 new business licenses issued through to the end of March 2018 compared to 105 new business licenses in 2017 in the same time period; this is a 49.5% increase in new business license registrations over last year.
  • The Prince George Airport (YXS) reported 126,048 passengers enplaning or deplaning in the first three months of 2018. This is a 6.9% increase in passenger volumes from 2017 when 117,910 people went through YXS from January to March.
This positive business climate is further supported by data and new projects in the commercial and industrial categories including: Treasure Cove Casino & Hotel's new showroom, the new Four Season's Pool, the new fire hall, a 151 unit condo development downtown, new affordable housing project on 3rd Ave., Browns Socialhouse, and the recently completed biomass enhancement system at Pacific Bioenergy.

Watch for our monthly Economic Updates in your inbox to stay informed in 2018. 
VIDEO: 2017 economic highlights
2017 was a great year for the Prince George economy: local residents voted to build a new fire hall and pool, 151 condos were announced for construction in the downtown during 2018, Prince George was selected to host the 2022 BC Summer Games, and the international airport (YXS) saw a record 499,125 passengers.
 
Watch our year-end video for more economic highlights for Prince George in 2017.
Check out these new businesses
Ritual Coffee Bar - Introducing 3rd wave coffee

There's a new place for coffee lovers to gather at the corner of George Street and 3rd Avenue: John and his team recently opened the Ritual Coffee Bar

John grew up in Prince George and was inspired to return after living in other communities, renewing his strong connection to Prince George and its residents. He brought with him his love of the emerging 3rd wave coffee trend that returns to single-origin coffee and has a deep respect for the story of coffee and the individual farmers who grow it.

With a keen focus on values, John feels his employees are the most important part of his business. A recent Facebook post states " Kinship, it's our way of defining social value. We are hyper-aware in our ability to participate in decisions that affect a large social, environmental, and economic web. Our desire is to foster a place where all can gather and catch up with friends, family or co-workers while also fostering long standing business relationships."
 
John has realized his vision of adding his own creative contribution to the revitalization movement started by other businesses in the downtown core.  Congratulations to John and the team at Ritual Coffee Bar. Stop by for a visit and experience the new vibe on George Street! #newbizpg

Four Rivers Co-op - Expanding into retail

Four Rivers Co-op incorporated in August 1944 in Vanderhoof, BC and has been building their co-operative and membership ever since. The company recently opened its first retail operation at 6749 Westgate Avenue, adding to its existing Cardlock and Bulk Fuel locations in Prince George.
 
The plan to open a retail location in Prince George has been in the works for a long time and was put into action when they found the perfect location along Highway 16 West. This new business has generated 21 new jobs, including managers John and Shirley.
 
With a strong social conscience, Four Rivers Co-op is very proud of their Community Support Fund which donates to local communities where they live and serve. In the last two years they have given $61,000 to Prince George charities.
 
Join us in welcoming this new business to Prince George!  #newbizpg
Clean technology business profile: Clean Energy Consulting
Providing industry and communities with practical, real world solutions has made Clean Energy Consulting (CEC) a leader in the specialized field of renewable energy projects. Built on three core pillars of Integrity, Excellence, and Results, CEC has for the last 10 years worked diligently to make the world a better place, one project at a time. 
 
"We are part of the growing momentum towards sustainability; the transition to healthy, vibrant communities where there is security around local food, clean air, fresh water, and renewable energy," explained company President, Tim Hoy.
 
CEC has fulfilled key roles in significant projects including the 36 MW Conifex Biomass Power Project in Mackenzie, BC, the 27 MW Skookum Run of River Project in Squamish, BC, and the two 13 MW West Fraser Biomass Power Projects in Fraser Lake and Chetwynd, BC.
 
With offices in Vancouver and in Prince George, CEC's team is ready to take on renewable energy projects locally and globally. In a world of shrinking resources and increased environmental consciousness, demand for our systems and services continues to increase. "We are committed to success for our clients and to delivering outstanding results regardless of the challenges."
Upcoming clean technology events
In partnership with Community Futures Fraser-Fort George, our Economic Development Division has been planning, delivering, and attending events for the Prince George Clean Technology Cluster. 
 
To date we have hosted workshops and roundtables, and have attended tradeshows to promote the clean technology opportunity. Looking forward, we are excited to be attending the events listed below to share information about clean technology in our region. 
For more information or to join us, please contact Davee.Palmantier@princegeorge.ca or call 250-561-7637.
Use this video to attract new talent
Do you sometimes need to recruit people who live in other communities?

If you answered yes, you can use this video to show potential employees what it's like to live in Prince George before they visit or make the move. Just send them the link to the video page on the Move Up Prince George website!

For information about other employee attraction and retention services, contact Christina.Doll@princegeorge.ca or call 250-561-7756.
E-commerce: Take your business online
Did you know...global online retail sales are expected to grow to $4.3 trillion US by 2020. The Prince George business community is actively pursuing this growing and evolving online marketplace; close to forty people got up extra early to attend the City of Prince George Economic Development Division's event focused on e-commerce on Thursday March 8th at the Civic and Convention Centre.

MNP technology expert Jeff Michaud, along with Elizabeth Vannan, gave an excellent presentation on e-commerce and the digital journey along with barriers to success. He stressed the importance of starting your business case, building a cross functional team, gathering resources, and designing the customer experience. They also met with local businesses afterwards to provide one-on-one business consultations.

Two local businesses who have embraced e-commerce and successfully launched their online stores.  Gwen from 4Paws Pure and  Bailey, Angela, and Colin from Theory Hardware, also shared their e-commerce journeys and their unique marketing approaches, challenges, and opportunities. Their stories, passion, learnings, and expertise in the online marketplace were a highlight for all those in attendance.

A big thank you to MNP, 4 Paws Pure, and Theory Hardware for sharing their knowledge! If you missed the workshop and would like more information please contact  Joanna.Johnston@princegeorge.ca or call 250-561-7633.
Announcing Canada's newest Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)
Prince George is Canada's western-most inland port and newest Foreign Trade Zone.
 
A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is an officially designated location that's eligible for tariff and tax exemptions on raw materials, components, or finished goods imports.
 
Prince George businesses have access to tax benefits listed in the table below and to a FTZ Task Force that will allow investors direct access to:
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Transport Canada
  • Foreign Affairs and Trade Development
  • Industry Canada
  • Export Development Canada
Foreign Trade Zone benefits

Program Benefit Qualifications
Upfront relief of duties.
Goods must be exported within four years.
Drawback Program Refunds duties for exported goods. Goods must have been exported within four years. 
Customs Bonded Warehouse Defers/relieves duties and taxes.
Goods must not be substantially altered.
Export Distribution Centre Program Upfront relief of GST/HST on certain imports and domestic purchases.
Must be export-oriented commercial entity that adds only limited value to goods.
The Exporters of Processing Services Program Upfront relief of GST/HST on certain imports.
Goods must belong to non-resident and be re-exported after being processed.
Benefits of the Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
98 percent of tariff lines are now duty free for Canadian goods!
 
On March 5, 2018, the City of Prince George, in partnership with Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Province of British Columbia, and Global Affairs Canada, hosted an information and networking forum at the Ramada Hotel. The forum focused on the newly signed trade agreement between Canada and the European Union and the benefits and opportunities for Prince George companies.
 
If you weren't able to attend the event, you can download the presentations here . More information can be found on the Global Affairs website .
Economic impacts of the Prince George forest industry
Prince George is at the heart of a vibrant, sustainable, and globally competitive forest industry in BC. It provides strong economic benefits to the local and regional economy as well as to the province as a whole.
 
There are more than 300 forestry related businesses operating in the Prince George area that provide a wide range of world-class products. These businesses include primary manufacturers, secondary manufacturers, logging companies, forest nurseries, silviculture companies, and large vertically integrated forest companies.
 
The Cariboo Region, followed by the North Coast and Nechako regions, have the highest shares of total employment attributable to the forestry industry of any other regions in the province. The Prince George area accounts for approximately 7 percent of forest industry manufacturing employment in BC and 11 percent of logging employment in BC.
 
Wood product and paper manufacturing in BC employed approximately 40,500 people in 2016. Of those, approximately 2,800 were estimated to be employed in the Prince George area. Forestry and logging employed approximately 19,400 people in BC in 2016. Of those, approximately 2,200 people were estimated to be employed in the Prince George area.
 
Prince George forestry sector highlights:
  • $3.86 billion total output was generated by the Prince George area forest industry in 2016.
  • $1.53 billion GDP (including direct, indirect and induced) was generated by the Prince George Area forest industry in 2016.
  • The forest industry supports an estimated 11,754 full-time equivalent jobs throughout the province. Of those approximately 9,000 were in the Prince George area. The Cariboo region has the highest level of employment attributable to the forest industry of any other region in the province.
  • Primary manufacturers in the Prince George area account for substantial amounts of the BC forest industry's processing capacity in terms of both lumber and pulp. Lumber mills in the Prince George area account for approximately 12 per cent of the total processing capacity of BC lumber mills and pulp mills account for 20 per cent of the BC pulp and paper processing.
  • 300+ forestry related businesses operate in the Prince George area. These businesses provide a wide range of products and services, and represent a strong and diverse supply chain for the forest industry and other related sectors of the local economy.
  • The Prince George forest industry contributes $386.9 million in tax revenues to government with $347.5 million to provincial and federal governments, and $39.4 million to municipal government.
Forest products are BC's largest commodity export, and the Prince George area is home to some of the largest softwood lumber producers in the province. These products are strong contributors to the BC economy and are sold around the world. Most commodity products made in the Prince George area are exported to the United States or Asia, while value-added products are sold throughout Canada and the northwestern United States.
 
While Prince George has a significant presence in BC when considering primary manufacturing, it has a relatively low secondary manufacturing footprint. Primary manufacturing in Prince George is estimated to account for approximately 75 per cent of total output, GDP, and government revenue, and approximately 70 per cent of total employment, with secondary manufacturing representing between 6 and 7 percent of total output, GDP, and government revenue, and approximately 8 percent of total employment.
 
Further opportunities for diversifying the forestry sector exist and the City of Prince George has identified engineered wood products as being an ideal target for investment and business expansion. For further information, see the Opportunity Profile for Engineered Wood Products.
 
Research was conducted by MNP and through primary and secondary sources. For more information, email ecdev@princegeorge.ca or call 250-561-7633.
How to reach us
We're available to answer all of your investment related questions, to assist you with acting on business growth opportunities and overcoming challenges, and to provide workforce attraction and retention tools and services. If you have any questions related to these areas, please email us at ecdev@princegeorge.ca or call 250-561-7633.
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