Saskatoon, Communities around Calgary Best Places to Start a Business: Report

By Omid Ghoreishi, Epoch Times
October 27, 2013 Updated: October 28, 2013    

Saskatoon and communities surrounding Calgary are the best large communities in which to start a business, according to a report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

In making its assessments, the CFIB considered over a dozen criteria categorized into three main categories: presence, perspective, and policy.

Presence consists of criteria such as business establishment growth and business establishments per capita, perspective includes criteria such as expected future business performance and future full-time hiring expectations, and policy involves criteria such as local government regulations and local government sensitivity to local businesses.

The organization considered cities with populations of 25,000 or more in its assessment, and gave them each a score out of 100.

The top five communities having the most favourable conditions for business were found to be the ring of communities surrounding Calgary, the city of Saskatoon, communities around Toronto, communities around Edmonton, and Sherbrooke, Quebec.

“Historically, and for a variety of reasons, CFIB has found entrepreneurial characteristics to be strongest in Canada’s prairie cities and the urban areas that ring the large urban cores,” the CFIB said in a report.

“What they have in common is ‘newness’—the prairie economies have only been developed in the past 150 years or so. … Similarly, suburban entrepreneurs sought the benefits of urban markets already in place, but found outlying areas more conducive to the structure and cost of doing business.”

Ted Mallett, vice president and chief economist of the CFIB, said that while some cities perform better than the others, there is still room for improvement.

“Notice we have no hundreds [scores] on the board. These cities are leading the way, but even they can stand to improve in one area or another,” Mallett said in a statement.

“Some measures of what makes a ‘boom-town’ are obvious, such as a high concentration of entrepreneurs and a high business start-up rate,” added Mallett. “Other indicators are not as obvious, like the level of business optimism and supportive local government.”