A new report suggests Edmonton suburbs are among the best places to start a business in Canada.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) report ranked communities surrounding the Alberta capital (Edmonton periphery) 10th overall among Canadian cities with a population with at least 150,000.
“It is no surprise that suburban areas tend to score much higher than major urban core cities — the outer rings of major centres are usually better incubators of new businesses because of more accommodative public policy, lower relative costs and still-reasonably good access to large markets,” the report reads.
Leduc County — which opened the new Century Mile Casino earlier this week — is among those communities.
“Out here in Leduc County we have a very competitive tax rate that helps everyone with their bottom line,” Leduc County Mayor Tanni Doblanko said on Monday.
Grande Prairie was sixth on the list among mid-sized cities in Canada with populations under 150,000, and sixth overall among all Canadian cities, while Edmonton periphery ranked 43 overall among all cities.
The report ranked cities based on the scale and growth of businesses, owner optimism and government policy.
The city of Edmonton did not rank nearly as high as its neighbours, sitting 82th overall among the 125 total cities.
However, the report’s authors say small business in Alberta as a whole is lower than it has been in the last 20 years. The CFIB said years of economic pressures in Alberta have dragged down the optimism scores and no city in the province ranked particularly high.
“That presents a problem for entrepreneurs and they certainly view places such as Edmonton and Calgary as being not as good as perhaps smaller municipalities to perhaps create and grow a business,” CFIB Alberta vice-president Richard Truscott said.