ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ENEWSLETTER
October 2020
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.
ECONOMIC UPDATE - YEAR TO DATE - SEPTEMBER 2020
Local Economic Statistics
Every quarter, the Economic Development Division tracks year-to-date economic indicators to better understand the state of the Prince George economy.
 
This video highlights year-to-date economic indicators up to and including the end of September 2020. These 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.
 
If there are statistics not included in this update that you are interested in seeing on a monthly basis, please send your request to ecdev@princegeorge.ca.
DOWNTOWN VACANCY RATE REMAINS STEADY
The city of Prince George downtown vacancy rate remains low despite the pandemic. The City has been conducting annual surveys of downtown buildings since 1983. The Downtown Occupancy Study studies the key aspects of Prince George’s downtown area including: floor area available, vacant and leasable space, and commercial high-rise vacancy. 
COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR YOUR BUSINESS
The Economic Development Division has compiled a list of resources available to help you navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on your business in a central location on our website. Resources range from Federal and Provincial supports to banking and insurance. If you would like to speak with a member of the Economic Development team contact 250-561-7633 or ecdev@princegeorge.ca.
SUPPORT PG PROVIDES CENTRAL ACCESS TO COVID-19 RESOURCES
The Support PG website provides access to resources to assist your business with navigating the challenges of operating during COVID-19. In addition to a listing of up-to-date business resources, the website includes the 'Open Now' Directory, in which you can list your business and the services you're offering during COVID-19, and the PPE Directory, which offers a list of local businesses that provide PPE. The website also offers access to health and wellness updates from trusted organizations and health authorities.
FREE HUMAN RESOURCES AND RECRUITMENT ADVICE OFFERED
WorkBC has joined forces with local human resources consultants and recruiters to share proven and efficient recruitment and retention techniques with businesses grappling with hiring and retention challenges during COVID-19.

Advice around reducing costs, identifying the best recruits, and retaining valued employees during the pandemic will be offered free of charge through a series of online workshops.

Upcoming online events include:
  • Tuesday, October 27th: Where have all the good candidates gone? 5 expert tips to recruit during COVID-19
  • Tuesday, November 17th: Inclusive recruitment: Bringing the best talent to the dance floor

Watch the COVID-19 Business Recovery Recruiters Facebook page for registration details for the November event and future events.
ENTREPRENEURS TO PITCH IDEAS IN TITANS' DEN FOR SEED FUNDING
Entrepreneurs will be presenting their ideas to five local business leaders in the Titans' Den for a chance to be awarded seed funding for their new venture. The Titans will evaluate each participant’s idea and, if they deem it worthy, will each provide up to $1,000 for a possible total of $5,000 to get it off the ground.

The main difference between the Titans’ Den and traditional investment programs like Dragons' Den is that the Titans will not be taking a stake in the companies they support. This money will be free of any strings attached for the entrepreneurs. 

The pitch event has attracted students, first-time, and repeat entrepreneurs from around Prince George. A total of 10 participants have signed up to take part in the event on October 29th, which will be held at the Ramada Hotel and will follow physical distancing protocols.
LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Team Powerhouse Realty
The incredible growth of local real estate brokerage Team Powerhouse Realty can be attributed to the determination of owner Mark McVey and the support of Prince George businesses and the community.

After Mark finished his degree at Simon Fraser University, he moved back to his hometown of Prince George where he felt his business would have a better chance of thriving.

Find out how Mark went from living in his mother's basement suite with student loan debt and no car to running a local real estate brokerage with 30 realtors and four administrative staff.
The Makerie
The Makerie is a hands-on maker space in downtown Prince George. You can buy a craft kit from the Craft Wall and then flex your creative muscles while enjoying an artisanal brew and a mouth-watering dairy, egg, and gluten-free treat.

Find out what inspired owner Kim Hayhurst to move from working for public and private sector organizations to opening her own unique business in downtown Prince George and read about the incredible community response to her novel idea.

Photo Credit: Pearl Loerke Photography
Azure Advanced Aesthetics
Dr. Christine J. Kurz was born in Vanderhoof and was recruited back to Prince George in 2008 as a plastic, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgeon. Her experience providing surgical services to Northern Health patients led her to recognize the high demand for medical aesthetics in Prince George and the entire Northern Health region. So in 2014, she opened Azure Advanced Aesthetics to provide these services.

Find out how a strong base of clients from Prince George and communities in the surrounding region, along with good relationships with local businesses have been integral to the success of her business.
2019 STATE OF THE NORTH REPORT RELEASED
Northern Development Initiative Trust has released their 2019 State of the North Report. It is intended to provide community and business leaders with comprehensive sector-specific and regional data that will help shed light on opportunities and inform investment decisions.
2019 FORESTRY SUPPLY CHAIN STUDY RELEASED
A new report which highlights the 2019 regional supply chain to the forestry sector has been released by the BC Council of Forest Industries.

The report found Prince George is home to the largest number of suppliers in British Columbia, with 970 local firms supplying the industry. It also found the industry spent $718 million on supplies and services that were sourced from Prince George, which was second only to the Vancouver spend of $978 million.

Across the province, there were nearly 9,900 suppliers in more than 340 communities and 120 Indigenous Nations and organizations that provided $7 billion worth of goods and services to BC’s forest industry.
DOWNTOWN DISTRICT ENERGY SYSTEM PROVES RENEWABLE RESOURCES CAN WORK IN CANADA
The Canadian biomass industry has been pointing to Europe for years as an example of successfully using district energy systems, but now it is time to look closer to home.

In January 2020, the City of Prince George’s Downtown Renewable Energy System successfully operated with 100 per cent biomass, despite temperatures reaching a record-breaking -42 C. The system, which provides hot water heating to 11 municipal and provincial buildings in the city’s downtown, has been operating since 2012. It relies on heat from the boiler at the nearby Lakeland Mills to fuel the system.

Read this feature in Canadian Biomass Magazine to discover the environmental benefits of the system, the potential for expansion of the system to service additional buildings, and the opportunity to develop more systems like this across Canada.
PRINCE GEORGE IN THE NEWS
Prince George Matters (July 9)
Prince George Matters (July 9)
Prince George Citizen (August 28)
CKPG Today (August 26)
CKPG Today (August 20)
Canadian Biomass (August 17)
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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