This article appeared in the Kamloops Daily News on March 23rd, 2012 and was written by Michele Young.
People in Kamloops are going to be getting swollen heads, with two studies in one week pointing to the city as a great place to be.
First, MoneySense Magazine rated Kamloops 44th out of 190 Canadian cities for livability.
Then on Thursday, KPMG ranked Kamloops as top B.C. community for overall competitiveness to do business.
Venture Kamloops executive director Dan Sulz said the accounting firm’s ratings looked at 26 factors — things like land prices, taxes, labour costs, real estate and utilities — in making the choice.
Other B.C. cities vying against Kamloops were Prince George, Vancouver and Victoria.
The KPMG rating was something that’s important to help with getting Kamloops recognized among international investors, Sulz said.
“This is also an international report. It’s very important that Kamloops fared above the other communities in B.C. as we try to promote ourselves internationally,” he said.
“When I talk to international investors, they ask me how we fared on the KPMG report.”
It was those questions that prompted him to sign Kamloops up for this year’s ranking — a first for this city.
Participating cities pay for the service of being ranked by KPMG. But Sulz said the money spent has great value when it comes to marketing and promotional uses.
“I was listening to international companies saying this is an important report we rely on in terms of competitiveness,” he said.
“There is value in being able to be ranked in this publication.”
Between the two reports, Kamloops stands out in terms of availability of labour, affordability of lifestyle for employees, quality of life for employees with what the City has done with the Tournament Capital program, and location, services and infrastructure that the city has that companies can benefit from, he said.
Venture Kamloops hasn’t been alone in helping the city’s business image. Sulz said the Chamber of Commerce and other local business associations have contributed.
And even social agencies have helped because they build infrastructure and services in the community that are important to the quality of life Kamloops offers, he said.
“It’s not just about building things that are good for business; it’s about building things that are good for the community. I was surprised and ecstatic to see us ranked as we were. But when you look at every group and organization working hard in the community, it doesn’t surprise me.”
Mayor Peter Milobar said Kamloops needs to let outsiders know about what it has to offer, and rankings such as these two help with that.
“When you combine business competitiveness with one of the best cities to live in Canada, you’ve got a community that is positioned to grow and prosper. That’s something we all have a stake in and can be proud of,” he said.