October 2018
Economic Development eNewsletter
Permit values hit a record high in Prince George
2018 is proving to be another great year for economic growth in Prince George. Permit values are at a record high, which has helped reduce the unemployment rate to under 5%. This growth is also pushing house prices up; the average new house sold in 2018 YTD is $521,015, which is a 26.9% increase from 2017 YTD.
With the announcement of the Canada LNG project in Kitimat, the largest private sector investment in Canada's history, as well as the TransCanada pipeline construction, growth in Prince George is expected for 2019 and beyond.

LNG decision expected to boost regional economy
The recent $40 billion announcement by LNG Canada to build an LNG gas export facility in Kitimat is the single largest private-sector investment in the history of Canada. Construction of the associated $6.2 billion, 670 kilometre Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline is slated to begin in 2019. This project is expected to provide a tremendous economic boost for Kimitat, which Prince George stands to gain from due to its position as the service and supply hub for Northern BC. 

Read this Business in Vancouver story to learn more about the project.
Check out this new business
Magic Wash - Offering customers convenience through 24/7 car washes

Attention to detail was top-of-mind for Bill Wettlaufer when he started planning to open his new business in Prince George. You can see it in everything from the state-of-the-art technology he sourced and installed at Magic Wash to the beautiful landscaping surrounding the building.
Bill opened Magic Wash with the intent to provide convenience for customers by offering car wash services 24-hours a day. He's able to offer this level of service due to everything at the car wash being automated, from the self-serve car wash terminals to the two touchless car wash bays. If all goes according to plan, Bill would eventually franchise this 100 per cent locally owned business.

Congratulations to the 2018 Business Excellence Award Winners
Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2018 Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards! Every business on this list deserves recognition for their commitment to doing business in Prince George. We would also like to recognize all of the businesses that were nominated for an award and every other business in Prince George. Learn about the winners here.
Federal funding available to female entrepreneurs
Western Economic Diversification Canada has launched the Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF) to help women grow their business through access to financing, networks and advice. 

This program will help women-owned and women-led businesses grow so they can take advantage of domestic and global opportunities. Non-repayable funding of up to $100,000 will be provided for projects that focus on the:
  • pursuit of market opportunities abroad;
  • scale-up, expansion and growth; and,
  • additional activities that support the objectives o the WEF.
If this sounds like an opportunity for you,  submit your application for funding  by November 15, 2018.
Downtown vacancy rates at an eight year low
2018 downtown vacancy rates are at an eight year low of 10.55%, with a 0.58% decrease from 2017 and a 4.65% decrease since 2011. This is in addition to the increase in total floor area available to retail, service and office use as a result of new construction downtown. 2018 reflects the lowest vacancy rate on record, with the greatest amount of space available for use.

The Downtown Occupancy Study was designed to collect and analyze vacancy rates of retail/service and office use building space located in Prince George's Central Business District. Here are some highlights of the 2018 study:
  • 38.8% of commercial space downtown was used for retail/service and 61.2% was used for office;
  • commercial high-rise vacancy rate is 9.7% in 2018, a 1.9% decrease from 2017;
  • retail/service use increased to 11.79% in 2018 from 11.5% in 2017; and
  • total area available for use increased from 218,377 to 220,339 which was a 0.9% change.
Year-to-date investment inquires for 2018
The Economic Development Division tracks the number of investors who contact City Hall for information about locating or expanding a business in Prince George. Year-to-date, 33 Prospect and 5 General inquiries have been received. Take a look at the following charts to get a sense of where the interest is coming from.
Note - a Prospect inquiry is considered to be a serious investor, while a General inquiry is often only looking for economic information.
Prince George Foreign Trade Zone booklet available
In February, Prince George was recognized as Canada's western-most inland port and newest Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).
Find out more about the benefits and how you can qualify for duties relief by reading the new FTZ Booklet .
Local economic information available online
The Economic Development section of the City website hosts a large amount of information on the local economy. Whether you're looking for population figures, tax rates, incentives programs, or labour reports, you'll find it all online. 

Because there's so much information available, we've heard that it's not always easy to find the information in a timely manner. That's why we created the Resource Library . This can now be your one-stop-shop to everything related to the local economy and doing business in Prince George.
And don't forget that if you want to see the economic development stats in an interactive format, you can visit our statistics page .
Local bio-economy leaders featured in Media Planet
The City of Prince George recently partnered with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) to promote and foster innovation in Prince George. 

The City and UNBC worked with Media Planet put together an informative editorial about Prince George featuring three local experts in their fields: Shawn Bells from Pacific Bioenergy, Phil Marsh from BC BioCarbon, and David Claus from UNBC.  Read this Media Planet story to find out how industry leaders are taking advantage of the region's natural abundance of resources and business support services to advance bio-economic innovation.

Clean technology opportunity brochure available
Prince George is home to a thriving bioeconomy due to an abundance of natural resources in the surrounding region. 

Clean Technology is spread across many sectors, including energy, and Prince George has a large selection of build, design, and comply firms to provide solutions for the energy sector. 

The bioeconomy cluster in Prince George is extensive, with several engineering firms specializing in different aspects of design, select firms that can provide high-reliability control systems using innovative solutions, and some of Canada's leading pellet producers.

To learn more about bio-economy energy solutions available in Prince George, take a look at this new Clean Technology Business Directory.    

City of Prince George recognized at Biomass North Forum 2018
Members of the City of Prince George's Economic Development team attended the Biomass North Forum 2018 in Thunder Bay, Ontario in mid-October to raise awareness about the Prince George Clean Technology cluster and to promote the city's thriving bio-economy. During the conference, the City of Prince George was recognized with an award for Community Leadership in the Bioeconomy. The award was presented to the City for making an outstanding contribution to the community through its innovative district energy system that pipes waste heat from a local manufacturing facility to the downtown core, reducing cost and emissions. The City was also recognized for its sector leadership in developing the bioeconomy in one of the world's largest fibre baskets through the Canadian Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition.
Make downtown your ground
There's a new energy in downtown Prince George!

Whether it's joining friends for a brew and a bite after work, fitting a quick workout into your busy day, taking in live music or an art show, or watching a local sports team, there are so many reasons to make downtown your ground. 

Watch this video then find out more about what's happening in the downtown at  http://mygroundpg.com/.

Move Up Prince George is now on Instagram
You can now find Move Up Prince George on Instagram. Give us a follow and promote our Instagram page to potential employees from out-of-town to show them why they should move up to Prince George.

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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