Kelowna is the top ranked entrepreneurial city in B.C., says a recent report by a national lobby group, but that doesn’t mean the government body that sets the conditions for small business are getting any kudos.
In fact, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s “Communities in Boom” which placed Kelowna 13th nationally—behind Prince Albert, Sask., and in front of Trois Riviere, Que.—cited local government as a problem.
The federation used 12 indicators to rank communities, and under the header Government Awareness of Small Business, Kelowna did poorly.
With a score of 5/100, it was even behind the national average of 8.4/100.
The Central Okanagan’s Economic Development Commission’s Robert Fine, suggested that could be the reason why it dropped from last year’s fifth place national ranking to 13th.
“The city has done a number of things to improve the business climate, and will continue to do so, but the issue is how well is that communicated?” said Fine, adding a March meeting with local government and the business community helped meet that need.
Meantime, he said, it’s not the worst news to be ranked best in B.C.
“It’s still a good news story,” he said. “We have lots of entrepreneurs and businesses here and we have to do all we can to make this a good climate for small businesses.
“It’s the basis of the economy.”
The report rated communities by three measures: Entrepreneurial presence, entrepreneurial perspective and entrepreneurial policy.
The CFIB assembled 12 indicators, such as the number of business startups and businesses per capita, hiring expectations, cost of government, regulation and taxes, from several sources, including Statistics Canada and surveys of CFIB’s 108,000 members across Canada.