April 2019
Economic Development eNewsletter
Economic indicators tracked by the Economic Development Division demonstrate a strong start to the year in Prince George with first quarter growth in several areas. The number of people employed is increasing, the number of building permits and their associated values are higher this year than last, there is an growing number of new business license applications and increasing number of passengers travelling through the Prince George International Airport.. The average house sale price and number of houses sold is slightly down this quarter when compared to this time last year.

2019 first quarter highlights:
  • Cariboo region is up 1,000 jobs since December 2018
  • Permits (YTD) are up from last year ($26.9M compared to $24.9M)
  • A significant permit has been taken out for downtown condos - Building 1 ($6.77M)
  • New Single Family Dwelling permits average value ($534,928)
City releases the 2018 Business Insights Report
The City of Prince George has released its 2018 Business Insights Report which summarizes and analyzes interviews that were conducted with 47 local business owners from a diverse range of employment sectors representing companies of all sizes. These interviews are conducted bi-annually and are a means to discuss the challenges and opportunities they are facing.  
Results were mainly positive, a total of 87% of businesses said that they thought Prince George was a good or excellent place to do business which is a strong endorsement for the local business climate. Eighty percent (80%) of businesses said that they thought the business climate was better today than 5 years ago, and 77% said they believed the business climate would be better five years from now.
The biggest challenge and potential barrier to expansion that was reported by many participants was access to a labour force. Most companies indicated that the number of unfilled positions was stable however there was a significantly greater number in 2018 that indicated they are having more trouble filling positions.  

Researching workforce solutions
MDB Insight has been selected through an Informal Request for Quotations (IRFQ) process to conduct a Workforce Analysis Study. We decided to undertake this study as a workforce analysis has not been conducted since 2014 and local businesses have identified the ability to attract and retain skilled workers as a barrier to their growth and success.
The purpose of this study is to determine the current state of the workforce in Prince George and to understand how the Economic Development Division and local employers can work to grow the workforce to support the expansion of existing business and to attract Foreign Direct Investment.
As part of the research for this study, MDB will be develop a survey to be delivered to local businesses. Whether the survey will be conducted online or in person has yet to be determined. If you own or manage a local business and would like to participate in this survey, please email Christina Doll, Workforce Development Officer at christina.doll@princegeorge.ca.
Data Centres - Business Opportunity
Over the years, Prince George has received numerous inquiries from companies looking to bring data centres to town and there are multiple reasons why Prince George is an ideal location. Some of the reasons include: access to a redundant fibre network, large amounts of available power, reliable and low-cost power, and cool/dry temperatures for "free cooling".
If you would like to learn more about the opportunity, please review this document or contact Economic Development.

City of Prince George recognized for Clean Technology Initiative
Members of the City of Prince George Economic Development team attended the British Columbia Economic Development Association Summit in Vancouver, BC this past March. During this conference, the City of Prince George was recognized with a Community Project Award for its Clean Technology Cluster Initiative which is a collaboration with Community Futures Fraser-Fort George and funded in part by Western Economic Diversification.

This award recognizes a community (with a population of over 20,000 in BC) or regional partnership that works together in an on-going economic development project. The Clean Technology Cluster Initiative was developed as a means to grow the clean technology sector in Prince George and to facilitate business retention and expansion efforts by helping local firms expand and access new markets for export.

For more information on this initiative, visit our website.
Land Resources Management - Business Directory
Prince George is home to several land resource management firms that assist their clients in efforts to manage the use and development of land resources. Servicing a variety of industries including forestry, mining, energy, and agriculture among others, some of the services offered by Prince George firms include:
  • Compliance: Environmental Assessments, Land Management and Planning, and Permitting
  • Information Management: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping
  • Habitat Reclamation and Restoration
To learn more about our land resource management firms in Prince George, take a look at our new
Clean Technology Land Resource Management Business Directory.
VIDEO: Companies drive forestry through innovation
Watch this video to see how two companies with locations in Prince George - AscenTech and Strategic Natural Resource Consultants - are using technology and innovation to meet their forestry partner's needs.
To learn more about doing business in Prince George, email the Economic Development Division at ecdev@princegeorge.ca or visit

VIDEO: Prince George is Canada's newest Foreign Trade Zone
In 2018, Prince George became Canada's western-most inland port and first Foreign Trade Zone in British Columbia. A Foreign Trade Zone is an officially designated location eligible for tariff and tax exemptions on raw materials, components, or finished goods imports. This video outlines the programs available withing the Foreign Trade Zone and explains the benefits of locating within the zone.

To learn more about the Foreign Trade Zone and doing business in Prince George, visit www.princegeorge.ca/FTZ or contact the Economic Development Division at ecdev@princegeorge.ca.
Check out these new businesses

Browns Socialhouse - Making waves in Prince George
Rumblings of a Browns Socialhouse coming to
The Browns Socialhouse Team
The Browns Socialhouse Team
Prince George began in 2016. The restaurant has been a huge hit since it opened on March 12, 2019 and has smashed numerous franchise group records.
Browns has had its eye on Prince George for some time due to the city's strong economy and growing community. The group also recognized it offers the right mix of meals and atmosphere to cater to everyone in Prince George from trades workers to business people.
Browns prides itself on making everything fresh to order: all of its sauces are made in house daily, their meat is AAA angus beef and their patties are pressed in house. Assistant Manager Patrick Kurek says "Being someone who has worked in restaurants close to 10 years, seeing how small our freezer is in our restaurant blew me away. I t really surprised me that our restaurant truly makes fresh food, from scratch every day!"
Stop by Browns at 101 - 3167 Massey Drive to welcome the franchise to the community, enjoy a meal inside or on the patio, and to enjoy a music playlist that includes everything from 60s country to the new hot hits.
Pl ay Grounds Bistro - Serving up crepes and fresh baked goods

The Prestige Treasure Cove Hotel recently welcomed Play Grounds Bistro to their property as a means to continue incorporating local and quality food options as part of the property. This was a great opportunity for Play Grounds as they felt that this would be a tremendous opportunity to welcome visitors to Prince George and show them what the community Prince George has to offe r.  
The Bistro is a modern, inviting and cozy coffee house and bakery with decor that creates a rustic but warm atmosphere with a vintage travel feel. What makes the bistro very special is its welcoming and knowledgeable staff, who fulfill orders promptly and who always provide service with a smile.
People can expect the same quality of goods that Play Grounds has been making for the past 4 years. There is a variety of hot and cold beverages, including some classic Play Grounds favourites: the 'Grounds' Latte, Fromo and Coffee Lemonade. There is an expanded crepe menu of sweet and savory options, fresh baked goods, sandwiches and salads. All of the food is home made with locally sourced ingredients.
To add to the convenience there is an 'Express Pickup' spot at the main entrance, so customers do not have to spend time looking for parking and can easily run in and grab a coffee or food to go. 

Workforce Development Officer's paper on the economic developer's role in facilitating workforce development published
A paper written by our Workforce Development Officer as part of the requirement to complete Year 2 of her Economic Development Certificate, Christina Doll, has been published in Volume 18 of the University of Waterloo's Papers in Canadian Economic Development . Her paper examines the role economic developers play in supporting economic stability in medium and small resource-based British Columbia cities through the examination of three projects.
Papers in Canadian Economic Development includes selected policy analysis papers written by economic development professionals to complete the requirement for the Certified Economic Developer - Fellowship designation or papers from the University of Waterloo Economic Development Program's Year 1 and 2 courses.

Economic development in the news
Here is a snapshot of what's been happening in economic development news during the first quarter of 2019:
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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