October 2017
Economic Development eNewsletter
Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2017 - Conference Board of Canada
For the second year in a row, the outlook for Prince George outlined in the Mid-Sized Cities Outlook report is positive. Prince George averaged 2.2 per cent growth between 2012 and 2016 and is forecast to make further gains with real GDP rising by 1.5 per cent in 2017 and 1.8 per cent in 2018, topping the national rate.

Driving these gains has been robust growth in Prince George's goods-producing industries, especially primary and utilities, the city's largest industry. The construction sector has also made exceptional gains over the last five years, expanding at an annual average pace of 5.3 per cent.
City-owned real estate opportunities
The City of Prince George has 7 properties it's looking to sell to builders and developers.

The City is looking for the following developments:
  • Multi-family (seniors, student housing, affordable housing, market rentals and condos);
  • Commercial (retail, restaurants, etc.);
  • Mixed-use (commercial on ground level and residential above).
Incentives:
Please contact City of Prince George Real Estate at 250-561-7678 or realestate@princegeorge.ca for more information about purchasing land from the City.

Multi-family incentives
Did you know the City of Prince George offers tax incentives to eligible developments in the downtown and key locations in the city?

Below is a breakdown of the two available programs :

Downtown Incentives
Multi-Family Housing Incentives
10-year tax exemption 5-10 year tax exemption
$10,000 per residential unit Reduced DCCs ($229 per unit)
Low DCCs:
  • Residential: $229 per unit
  • Commercial: $2.85 per m2
Available throughout most of the city
Parking requirement exemptions
Flexible zoning (C1)

Opportunity Profiles - Engineered Wood Products
The City has identified Engineered Wood Products as one of its top three industries to attract due to forestry being at the heart of much of the business in Prince George and British Columbia. 

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), the material used to build the  Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George and  Brock Commons in Vancouver, is going to disrupt the building industry over the coming years.  Prince George has been identified as a showcase city for CLT from the province and we are looking to build off that momentum. Economic Development staff is working hard to ensure our city's businesses are able to capitalize on the engineered wood industry.

Read our opportunity profile to learn more about  Engineered Wood Products  and to see if this investment opportunity is a fit for you.

Forest Industry Economic Impact Study
The City of Prince George recognizes the importance of forestry to our local economy in providing employment and generating business and government revenue. The Economic Development Division is deepening the understanding of forestry's impact on the local and provincial economies by working with consulting and accounting firm MNP LLP to develop a Prince George Forest Industry Economic Impact Study. 

The Economic Development Division and MNP will be contacting owners and managers of local forestry businesses to get their direct input for the study. Businesses will be selected for interviews based on their connection to the forest industry in Prince George and the industry's sub-sectors including: forest management, primary manufacturing, secondary manufacturing, fibre supply and wholesale, forest innovation, and silviculture.

Local forestry businesses interested in taking part in this study are encouraged to contact Jo-Anna Johnston, Business Development Office, City of Prince George, at 250-561-7633 or joanna.johnston@princegeorge.ca It's anticipated that a final report will be released in December 2017 following the necessary data collection and analysis.

Economic highlights for June to August 2017

 

We keep track of the economic statistics needed for making business decisions so you don't have to! Here are highlights from the last quarter:
  • The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.9%
  • The employment rate increased from 66.2% to 68.0%
  • 119 new business licenses issued
  • 162 building permits granted with a total value of $51,549,206
  • Year to date 328 building permits granted with a total value of $85,917,640
Love these highlights? Watch for the arrival of our Economic Update  in your inbox every month. You can also   follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook so you never miss an update.

 

Introducing our NEW economic development dashboard
If you're making an investment decision, you need up-to-date information about communities that are a potential fit for your business. That's why we provide the most recent data about the Prince George economy in an easy to navigate dashboard. Demographics, workforce, tax, quality of life, housing, transportation, education, companies, utilities - the data can all be found here .



Have you registered for our new Business Directory?
The Business Directory has been up and running since May 2017. This directory is free, descriptive, search-able, and available to all businesses with a City of Prince George business license.

Use this great marketing tool to profile your business, social media pages, website, products and services. With over 1,300 businesses and growing, the Business Directory is an excellent way to connect with customers and search for local businesses.

Have a business license but don't have a listing in the directory yet? Contact Jo-Anna Johnston, Business Development Officer at 250-561-7633 or joanna.johnston@princegeorge.ca to get connected. 

Check out these new businesses
Better Home Decoration & Gift - Building a new business and home in Prince George

After spending 15 years running a furniture store in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Jessica Chen and Jim Zhang have brought their business skills to Prince George. They recently opened Better Home Decoration & Gift at 1367 4th Avenue, which offers a range of decorative household products.

During their time in Dubai, Jessica and Jim were separated from their children who were living in China. Their goal was to find a country where the family could be together; Canada is that country and Prince George is the city in which they chose to make their new home and pursue a new business venture. They love Canada because "the people here are so kind and it isn't as hot."

Stop by this new business in Prince George and meet these new Canadians!

Budget Break and Muffler - Bringing a major franchise to the city

British Columbia auto service centre franchise  Budget Brake and Muffler has wanted to open a location in Prince George for over a decade . This presented the perfect opportunity for Mike Godfrey who wanted to run his own business after working as a heavy duty mechanic in Prince George for twelve years.

After a year-and-a-half of searching for the perfect location, Mike is very happy to have opened the doors to Budget Break and Muffler at 1795 Victoria Street. One of his main focuses in running his new business is providing excellent customer service to every customer who walks through his doors. 

So stop by and meet Mike and his team of technicians; they're ready to serve the auto repair needs of Prince George. And if you ask nicely, Mike might even sing you the Budget Brake and Muffler jingle.

The Salted Cracker #4 - An expansion success story

Wow, talk about a Prince George success story! 

Michael Pockett and his team have just opened the fourth Salted Cracker location near Spruceland Mall at 3337 8th Ave in Prince George. It's easy to be inspired by this local company as it has expanded from one to four locations in a few short years. The Salted Cracker team shows the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Prince George. 

Fall is here, meaning it's soup season at The Salted Cracker. They have four featured soups every day and delicious sandwiches...soup's on.  Check them out near Spruceland or at their other three other locations. 

BizRide is back!
BizRide is returning after an informative first year of meetings between the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Mayor and Council with businesses to discuss opportunities for strengthening the business community. The second annual BizRide is taking place on October 25, 2017 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm and will provide another opportunity for Chamber and City officials to visit small businesses to gather feedback.

Last year, five teams visited 29 businesses in five different commercial areas: downtown, the Hart, the Carter Light Industrial Area, the BCR Industrial Site and College Heights. Feedback from the businesses indicated that they were very pleased with the chance to have one-on-one discussions with Mayor and Council and the Chamber of Commerce.

Hiring from outside of Prince George? We can help!
If you're an employer who needs to recruit people from outside of Prince George for hard-to-fill positions, we can assist you in achieving your attraction and retention goals. We offer a number of attraction tools through the Move Up Prince George website and also offer retention services.

Employee attraction:
  • Register for an employer account on Move Up Prince George and post a job for free to the website's Career Search page to reach potential candidates across Canada.
  • Download a digital web button and add it to your online career search page. Link this button back to the Move Up Prince George website so people interested in working for you can learn about life in Prince George.
  • Ask us about the promotional items we provide for recruitment packages and new employees that showcase the lifestyle in Prince George.
Employee retention:
  • We're available to answer potential candidate's questions about living in Prince George and to provide personalized tours for potential and new employees.
For more information about these tools and other attraction and retention services offered by the Economic Development Division, contact Christina Doll, Workforce Development Officer at  christina.doll@princegeorge.ca  or 250-561-7633.

Marketing Canada Award - Move Up Prince George
The Move Up Prince George advertising campaign was recognized during the Economic Developers Association of Canada's 49th Annual Conference with a Marketing Canada Award.

Move Up Prince George  is a cross-Canada campaign designed to assist employers in their recruitment efforts and to attract people to "move up" to the Prince George area. We are honoured to be recognized by our peers with this national award!

The Marketing Canada Awards program is open to those organizations that promote and market Canadian provinces, territories, regions, cities, towns and areas with a view to improving the economic well-being of Canadians.

This year's awards program attracted submissions from across Canada.  View the full news release  from the Economic Developers Association Canada about the 2017 Marketing Canada Awards. 

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 contact us.

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