ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ENEWSLETTER
January - 2020
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Greetings!
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 in the community.
  • Important information about the latest economic issues, trends, and topics.
CITY LAUNCHES NEW 2020-2025 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
The City of Prince George has approved a new 2020-2025 Economic Development Strategy that will focus on growing and attracting businesses within five target sectors:
  1.  Forestry, Wood Products, and Bio Products
  2. Transportation, Warehousing, and E-Commerce
  3. Manufacturing: Machinery, Chemical, and Food
  4. Professional Services: Engineering, Environmental Services, and Resource Management
  5. Construction: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, and General Contractors

The Economic Development Strategy also focuses on supporting entrepreneurs, creating an education pipeline, facilitating talent retention and attraction, supporting downtown revitalization, the advancement of arts-based organizations, and collaborating with tourism to develop new products and visitor experiences.
LOOKING BACK AT 2019
2019 Economic Year-in-Review
2019 was another year of growth for Prince George.

Here are some of the highlights:
  • Building permit values reached their highest ever level at $223.1 million.
  • This investment resulted in approximately 1,860 direct jobs and 1,924 indirect jobs.
  • Prince George was named the 2nd best city for real estate investment in Western Canada by Western Investor.
  • When asked if Prince George is a good place to do business, 87% of local businesses said it was either "good" or "excellent".

This growth is expected to continue in 2020, with the local GDP forecast to grow by 1.7%.
BUILDING PERMITS FOR 2019 SET HIGH BAR
Value and number of permits up nearly 20 percent over previous records
Both the value and number of building permits issued in Prince George in 2019 were up nearly 20 percent over 2018 - the previous record-breaking year. The total number of building permits issued in 2019 reached an all-time high of 611, up nearly 20 percent from the 515 issued in 2018.

A few of the year’s most-valuable permits include:
  • The student housing development at 1404 Patricia Blvd. – Faction Projects inc - $13 million.
  • The Fire Hall at 2012 Massey Drive – City of Prince George - $11.84 million.
  • The hotel by Horizon North at 585 Dominion Street – Mundi SDR Development inc - $11.34 million.

If you are interested in investing in Prince George, contact us as at 250-561-7633 or by emailing ecdev@princegeorge.ca .
PRINCE GEORGE NAMED TOP INVESTMENT CITY
Western Investor recently released its list of top cities in Western Canada in which to invest and Prince George took the number two spot.

Forecast GDP growth of 1.7 per cent in 2020 by the Conference Board of Canada is one of the reasons Prince George ranked so high on the list, along with its healthy real estate market, multi-million dollar natural resource projects in the region that are expected to have a positive impact on the city, and low rental and housing costs.

If you are interested in investing in Prince George, email ecdev@princegeorge.ca.
BUILD YOUR DATA CENTRE IN PRINCE GEORGE
Prince George is a prime location for data centres
Prince George's fibre redundancy, cool climate, clean power, stable environment, and access to hundreds of acres of vacant serviced industrial and commercial land make it an ideal location to locate and operate data centres.

If you are interested in setting up a data centre in Prince George, email ecdev@princegeorge.ca .
VIRTUAL REALITY COMES TO PRINCE GEORGE
Game Changerz
The owners of Game Changerz chose to bring Virtual Reality to Prince George because they saw an opportunity to capitalize on its projected rise in popularity, with some suggesting that it will be a $43 billion dollar industry by 2024. The Virtual Reality environment is special as it can take you into worlds that are not possible in real life, but in many cases, look and feel extremely realistic. Virtual reality is for all ages and for anyone interested in experiencing something unique.

Game Changerz currently has VR stations that offer approximately 65 games. These games range anywhere from swimming among tropical fish and sea creatures to surviving a zombie apocalypse. Since opening, they have surpassed their estimates for birthday parties. They have also been extremely busy hosting private family events, corporate/team building bookings, and bachelor parties. The reception from Prince George residents has been exceptional, with the community providing a ton of hype and support.

Game Changerz has created a unique environment in Prince George where gaming has become social; they would love to share this excitement and next-level experience with the people of Prince George and surrounding areas. They have a vision of opening a family entertainment centre that would offer a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere in which to sit and relax, and get right into the action of the gaming experience.

If you want to give Virtual Reality a try, stop by their location at 1437 Commercial Crescent.
CREATING UNIQUE APPAREL FOR AN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE
Back Forty Lifestyle Co.
When Shelly Mattison moved back to Prince George after living in the Lower Mainland for 12 years, she decided two things: she wanted a career change and she wanted to share her love of the outdoors with others. She started brainstorming ideas and landed on learning art design and screen-printing, which she uses to transfer her love of the outdoors to clothing and to others.
 
Back Forty Lifestyle Co. apparel was initially sold at small business fairs and markets starting in 2018, but Shelly recently opened a storefront on Specialty Avenue in downtown Prince George. She decided on the 4 th Avenue location because, of all of the spaces she viewed, this one just felt like home for her and her partner in life, Sheldon, who has been her biggest supporter since she started her business.
 
According to Shelly, Prince George is an amazing place to operate a business: “Forming relationships and partnerships in the community is SO important to me. I have been welcomed to the ‘business owner community’ by so many wonderful local people and I am blown away by the camaraderie and support everyone has for one another.”
 
Shelly gives back to the community who supports her by promoting and selling other outdoors brands and products created by makers in Prince George and across Canada. She also gives 5 per cent of the store’s house brand sales to the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC and is currently working on different partnerships and projects to help support local outdoor user groups.
 
Want to see her products in person? Stop by the store at 1255 4 th Avenue.
AWARD WINNING ARCHITECTS DRAWING THE FUTURE OF NORTHERN BC
Chernoff Thompson Architects North
Chernoff Thompson Architects North is a diverse architectural practice that calls Prince George home. The firm has been providing sustainable design principles and a highly educated team of architects to the city and Northern BC for 60 years.

Architect Julie Sorensen says it’s the personal connection to the area that fosters an understanding of the identity of Prince George and Northern BC, meaning that their design solutions reflect the history, people, place, climate, and culture. “Endless outdoor activities, natural landscapes and backcountry to explore, the lifestyle enticed the architectural team to choose this city.” Every member of their team is a part of the community in which they live.   

Chernoff Thompson Architects North have invested in the future of Prince George and by building relationships and partnerships in the community they can better understand the challenges and opportunities to serve the community better. “Over 80% of our business comes from repeat clients or client recommendations” says Sorensen.

The firm also feel fortunate to have tremendous talent in Prince George in the engineering disciplines who bring their work to life. Having chosen to locate downtown, Chernoff Thompson Architects North believes that investment of time and energy in the downtown core will lead to great things. “The architecture profession has the ability to directly impact the vitality of the downtown.” Says Sorensen. 

Residents of Prince George can see examples of Architects North’s work by viewing the new Prince George Library entrance and a mixed use development coming to George Street. 
 
The firm comes from a rich history in Prince George, which they aim to build upon for a better future.
NEW RELOCATION GUIDE AVAILABLE
Do you often attend recruitment events outside of Prince George? Or do you need to look outside of Prince George to fill certain positions?

If you are an employer in Prince George who answered yes to one or both of these questions, our new Relocation Guide is for you. This guide contains detailed information about the city that is important in making a relocation decision, including career growth opportunities, information about housing, education and healthcare, and details about the lifestyle in Prince George.

If you want to receive the digital version of the Relocation Guide or a limited number of print copies, please email our Workforce Development Officer at christina.doll@princegeorge.ca.
DRIVING TOURS FOR PROSPECTIVE AND NEW EMPLOYEES
Moving to a new city for work can be overwhelming.

That is why we offer FREE driving tours of Prince George to prospective and new employees who are from other communities. In addition to receiving great information about the city to help them in their relocation decision or to settle into their new home, each tour participant receives a pair of Move Up Prince George socks!

Are you a local employer who is interested in booking a tour for a potential or new employee from another community? All you need to do is email our Workforce Development Officer at christina.doll@princegeorge.ca to arrange a date and time. You will be asked to provide the tour participant's name, the position they are interviewing for or have been hired for, and where they currently live or where they moved from .
PRINCE GEORGE IN THE NEWS
Prince George Citizen (January 13)
Prince George Daily News (January 12)
My Prince George Now (December 18)
CKPG Today (November 13)
Prince George Matters (November 1)
CKPG Today (October 31)
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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