Regina One of Canada’s Most Entrepreneurial Cities

An aerial view of Regina.

Saskatchewan’s two major cities — Saskatoon and Regina — were ranked among the top 10 places in Canada to start and grow a business, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

And two smaller cities — Swift Current and Lloydminster — were among the top 10 mid-sized cities in the CFIB’s eighth annual report on the entrepreneurial characteristics of Canada’s major and mid-sized cities.

Among major cities, the communities around Calgary took top spot for the second year in a row, with Kelowna and the area surrounding Edmonton close behind. Saskatoon, Guelph, Barrie, Regina, Moncton and the grouping of communities that ring the cities of Toronto and Vancouver round out the top 10.

Among mid-sized cities, B.C.’s Penticton fared best, followed by Grande Prairie, Alta., Collingwood, Ont. and Okotoks and Brooks, Alta.

“Communities in the West is still top the list, but we’re seeing the beginnings of a power shift away from the traditional entrepreneurial power centres in the Prairies towards B.C., as the fallout from oil prices continues to hit the region,” said CFIB chief economist Ted Mallett. “We are also seeing parts of Central Ontario becoming more and more desirable for entrepreneurs,”

Both Saskatoon and Regina remained on the top 10 list, although their rankings declined slightly from 2014, the CFIB report said. Saskatoon saw its ranking drop one place to fourth from third in 2014, while Regina fell five places from fourth in 2014 to ninth.

“While pleased Saskatoon and Regina maintained their top 10 ranking in 2015, we are concerned their rankings dropped from 2014,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president for Prairie and Agri-business. “We fear annual property tax hikes and unsustainable spending could jeopardize these rankings in the future.”

John Lee, president and CEO of Regina Regional Opportunities Commission (RROC), said Regina’s top 10 ranking on CFIB’s entrepreneurial cities list confirms the city is on the right track in terms of supporting entrepreneurship.

“We are pleased to see Regina continue to rank high on this list and we feel it is a reflection of the strong and growing entrepreneurial spirit in our community,’’ Lee said.

He noted RROC’s recently completed Regina Executive Leadership Outlook, a survey of key business leaders, indicated over 80 per cent of respondents expressed strong confidence in the Regina economy and expect investment, jobs, and profits to remain stable or rise over the next year. “So the CFIB study is matching up with our sense of business confidence in Regina,” Lee added

CFIB’s entrepreneurial communities report looks at how 121 cities and economic regions support and promote entrepreneurship, scoring each of them out of 100 by looking at 14 indicators across three main categories — presence, perspective and policy.

bjohnstone@leaderpost.com

Jenni Bast

Jenni Bast

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