Report lauds good business policy but says cities still have work to do, particularly on addressing fairness issues around business property tax
TORONTO—Saskatoon and the Greater Calgary Area are once again the best large Canadian communities for entrepreneurs to run a business, according a Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) report.
The 2013 Communities in Boom report recognizes communities that create an environment in which businesses can thrive.
“Growing communities raise property values, utilize infrastructure more effectively and provide residents with a greater range of economic and social opportunities,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB vice-president and CEO. “While we recognize communities that do this well, it’s important to acknowledge that all Canadian cities could do much better, particularly in addressing fairness issues around business property tax.”
Historically, the highest scores have gone to urban areas that ring large urban cores (identified in the report as “Greater” as opposed to “City of” which identifies the cores themselves). Canada’s prairie cities have also typically scored well.
Here are the 2013 Top 10 overall scores (out of a possible 100) for cities with a population greater than 150,000:
1. Greater Calgary: 68
2. Saskatoon: 67
3. Greater Toronto: 65
4. Greater Edmonton: 64
5. Sherbrooke: 62
6. City of Edmonton: 61
7. Regina: 61
8. Kelowna: 59
9. St. John’s 58
10. Saguenay 58
Top mid-sized cities include Lloydminster, Alta.; Red Deer, Alta.; Leamington, Ont.; Grande Prairie, Alta. and Rivière-du-Loup, Que.
The annual report measures 14 indicators applied to 3 main categories:—Presence, Perspective and Policy—to arrive at a score out of 100.
“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. Notice we have no hundreds on the board. These cities are leading the way, but even they can stand to improve in one area or another.”