Back in business

Across the country and the rest of the province, the Kelowna area is known for many things.

 

Across the country and the rest of the province, the Kelowna area is known for many things. Our incredible Okanagan summers, beautiful vineyards, and hockey fans may point to the Kelowna Rockets.

And while those are all good things to be known for, Kelowna is also making a name for itself in the business community. Last week, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) voted Kelowna the most business-friendly city in British Columbia.

CFIB’s report Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities looked at 100 Canadian cities and towns and compared them on several factors. Using both independent data from sources like Statistics Canada as well as direct perspectives from local business owners, CFIB took into account the concentration of entrepreneurs, business start-up rate, and the general optimism and success of business owners.

And while it’s the entrepreneurs themselves who succeed or fail, there’s no question government policies also play a significant role. As a former business owner, I know firsthand the crucial need for supportive local government tax and regulatory policies. It’s great to see the Province and Kelowna’s responsible fiscal policies getting some well-deserved recognition.

In case you think this is just boosterism, think again. Entrepreneurism and overall business success are crucial for any thriving urban centre.  Small and medium enterprises employ 52 per cent of all Canadians.  Think of small and medium businesses as a form of economic insurance; recent decades have shown what can happen to single-industry towns.

This is precisely why the provincial government has been moving ahead with projects such as expanding the availability of BizPal – a single online source of information for businesses about necessary licenses and permits – and the OneStop Business Registry.  Do these make a difference for entrepreneurs? The availability of BizPal was specifically listed as a factor in CFIB’s rankings.

It’s also important to tout some of our successes to encourage young entrepreneurs and prospective business owners. Young people could be forgiven for being discouraged by recent headlines about entire countries going bankrupt – so making sure they know Canada and B.C. in particular remain excellent places to establish and run a business is worthwhile.

 

B.C. “has a lot to be proud of,” says the CFIB, and that we’ve come a long way in the past ten years.  B.C.’s strong fundamentals – reflected in our AAA credit rating – make us a very desirable destination for business. Why? For example, if the Province needs to borrow, we can do so at significant savings. The Province currently borrows at 30 to 35 basis points lower than Ontario in the US dollar market.

 

It doesn’t end there, either. A recent report from McKinsey & Co named Canada the “top entrepreneurial hotbed” of all G20 countries – and by a wide margin, too.

 

So if Kelowna is the best city in the best province in the best country in the world…does that mean the Kelowna area is therefore the best place in the world?

 

I think it just possibly does.

 

Visit Norm’s website at www.normletnickmla.bc.ca

Just Posted

Kootnekoff: It’s my strata, and I’ll smoke if I want to (Part 2)

The final part of a legal battle between two strata residents and second-hand smoke

Iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen to exhibit work in Kelowna

Gruen’s portfolio includes John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, among many others.

Kelowna woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for homeless youth

Victoria Schermel’s climb will raise funds for youth homelessness initiative, The Upstream Project.

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pleaded guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Okanagan resident’s alleged stolen dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

Most Read