ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ENEWSLETTER
October - 2019
Downtown Prince George | Photo Credit: Darrin Rigo
Hello,
Keep a finger on Prince George's economic pulse. Read our quarterly Economic Development eNewsletter to learn about:
  • New businesses joining the community.
  • New and exciting developments and programs.
  • Important information about the latest economic issues, trends, and topics.
REPORT IDENTIFIES WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
MDB Insight has completed a report on behalf of the City of Prince George that paints a picture of the current state of the local workforce. The study, which includes a comprehensive survey of local businesses, also identifies strategies for the City and businesses to use in growing and strengthening the local workforce.

Key findings from the study include:
  • Most Prince George businesses have short-term plans to hire new employees (78 per cent in the next year, 84 per cent in the next two years).
  • Over 85 per cent of businesses indicate a skilled workforce is important for current operations and future growth.
  • Most businesses identified barriers to hiring and retaining employees.

The report’s recommendations inform local businesses of best and promising practices for talent attraction and retention, inform on strategies to retain post-secondary graduates in order to grow the labour pool and local population, and offer suggestions for strengthening business competitiveness.
STUDY PROJECTS STEADY ECONOMIC GROWTH
A study published by the Conference Board of Canada forecasts the Prince George economy will continue its trend of modest growth over the next few years.

After growing by a modest 1.3 per cent in 2018, the city's economy is expected to expand by 1.5 per cent this year and a further 1.7 per cent in 2020 according to the Mid-Sized Cities Outlook .

The report notes other positive developments including:
  • The region’s unemployment rate edged down from 5.2 per cent last year to 4.9 per cent this year and is forecast to hold steady at 5.1 per cent in 2020.
  • The region had near record housing starts in 2018 and building permit values continue to be very robust in 2019.

The study also notes that the struggling forestry sector will weigh on local industry, but indicates that a resolution to the U.S–Canada softwood lumber dispute would provide welcome relief to the region’s forestry sector. 
ECONOMIC UPDATE VIDEO
Economic Update - September 2019 Year-to-Date
Every quarter, the Economic Development Division tracks year to date economic indicators to better understand the state of the Prince George economy. Check out the data included in this year-to-date video. All statistics are gathered from a variety of sources, including Statistics Canada, BC Northern Real Estate Board, Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, City of Prince George, and the Prince George Airport Authority.
Michael Kerr speaking about clean technology businesses about opportunities in Alberta.
BUSINESSES CONNECTED WITH CLEAN TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNITIES
Local clean technology businesses gathered at the Northern Lights Estate Winery on September 13 th to learn about potential opportunities in Alberta. The presenter was Michael Kerr who is the Technology Development Advisor for the southern region of Alberta Innovates, which is a provincial crown corporation that fosters innovation. Kerr works with large energy producers and smaller innovative suppliers to connect Alberta operations with solutions outside the province.

Kerr discussed how to connect with firms in the geomatics and pulp mill engineering spaces in the Alberta energy sector. There is a recognition that BC has strong capabilities in data analytics that can assist with improved efficiency in pipelines, processing facilities and related activities, as well as solutions in methane and water use.

Workshop participants indicated they appreciated the access to information about programs and potential partners in Alberta and confirmed that it was a worthwhile event.
ENTREPRENEUR IMMIGRATION PILOT PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON PRINCE GEORGE
The City of Prince George has received 100 requests from individuals interested in immigrating to Prince George to start a new business. The requests are a result of the city's participation in the BC PNP Pilot Entrepreneur Immigration - Regional Pilot Program, which kicked off in April 2019.

18 of the 100 entrepreneurs who expressed interest through the pilot program have travelled to Prince George from their home countries to meet with our Economic Development Division and tour Prince George, with more tours scheduled into March 2020. The Province has invited 7 out of these 18 entrepreneurs to apply for entry to Canada through this pilot program.
SERVING UP FRESH-BAKED GOODS AND SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY
COBS Bread
Prince George resident Kynan Krstic opened the doors to the first COBS Bread location in Prince George on May 16, 2019. He is born and raised in Prince George and always wanted to be in business for himself. The opportunity to open a COBS Bread in his hometown proved to be the perfect fit for his desire to own a business and to give back to the community.

Kynan had originally planned to open COBS Bread at the Spruceland Mall, but when that didn’t work out, he ended up securing the lease for a new location at Pine Centre Mall. He believes the location is part of the reason why COBS Bread Pine Centre hit the highest opening day sales for a COBS Bread location Canada-wide.

Baked today sold each day! The bakers at COBS are up early every morning to make their products fresh and from scratch. At the end of the day, all unsold goods are donated to local charities. Being involved in the community is very important for Kynan, on top of the daily donations, Kynan topped up their grand opening day sales of $9026 to $10,000 and donated it all to KidSport PG.

If you haven’t welcomed this new business to Prince George yet, make sure to stop by their location at Pine Centre Mall, 102-3167 Massey Drive.
LOCAL BUSINESSES CELEBRATED
The Prince George Playhouse was packed for the Prince George Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on September 25, 2019 . Hundreds of businesses were nominated, four finalists were named in each category, and the winners were announced during the awards ceremony. We were honoured to be named a finalist in the Top Marketing Campaign category for Move Up Prince George and would like to congratulate Cariboo Rocks the North for their win, along with all of the other winners and nominees.

  • Service Excellence - It's All About Coffee & Food
  • Micro Business of the Year - 4 Paws Pure
  • Remarkable Visitor Experience - CrossRoads Brewing Street Festival Series
  • Environmental Leadership - Pacific Western Brewing
  • Excellence in Food & Beverage - Trench Brewing & Distilling
  • Outstanding Corporate Culture - The Exploration Place
  • Excellence in Hospitality - Salmon Valley Campground
  • Top Non-Profit/Charity - Prince George Hospice Society
  • Top Marketing Campaign - Cariboo Rocks the North
  • Top Indigenous Owned Business - Erin Stagg Fine Art
  • Business of the Year - Birch and Boar Charcuterie and Provisions
  • Business Person of the Year - Sonica Kandola
PRINCE GEORGE PROFILED ON BC IDEAS EXCHANGE WEBSITE
The City of Prince George Economic Development Division has been profiled on the BC Ideas Exchange website for its success in building a Clean Technology Cluster.
 
The profile outlines the opportunity to develop a clean tech cluster, the strategy and partnerships that were integral to creating the cluster, and successes so far.
 
Highlights:
  • Clean tech firms and competitive advantages were identified.
  • The strategy was built with targeted consultation of existing clean tech firms and identification of possible future investment in clean tech.
  • The Clean Tech Cluster has generated nearly $1.5M in additional business activity in the city.
PRINCE GEORGE IN THE NEWS
Prince George Citizen (October 10)
Prince George Daily News (October 8)
CKPG Today (October 8)
My Prince George Now (October 8)
Prince George Citizen (October 8)
CKPG Today (October 4)
Journal of Commerce by ConstructConnect (September 16)
Prince George Citizen (September 7)
CKPG Today (August 28)
Prince George Matters (August 27)
BNN Bloomberg (August 2)
Victoria Times Colonist (July 26)
CKPG Today (July 24)
Western Investor (June 27)
City of Prince George, 1100 Patricia Boulevard, Prince George, BC V2L 3V9
Email: ecdev@princegeorge.ca | Telephone: 250-561-7633 | Fax: 250-561-7724
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