Basran says City efforts are fostering entrepreneurial growth in Kelowna

Kelowna is moving up the ranks of Canada’s top entrepreneurial cities. Kelowna is ranked 5th in Canada, up from 8th place last year, and British Columbia’s most entrepreneurial city according to the results of a Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) study released October 20.

On the first day of Small Business Week in Canada, CFIB’s Entrepreneurial Communities report took an in-depth look at how 120 cities support and promote entrepreneurship. It scores each of them out of 100, by looking at 14 indicators. Kelowna earned 61.2.

The new ranking was welcomed by City Councillor and mayoral candidate Colin Basran.

“The past three years of economic vitality is the byproduct of this city’s efforts to assure our entrepreneurs that we are committed to an environment in which they can thrive,” says Basran. “I’m proud to have been part of a Council that is fostering entrepreneurial growth in the city while maintaining one of the lowest business tax rates in the province.”

The study compared cities with census metropolitan areas that have populations greater than 150,000 across Canada and ranked them based on 14 criteria, which included business establishments per capita, the percentage of total employment that was self-employment, expected future business performance, local government regulations and taxes.

“There are multiple factors that determine a city’s entrepreneurial potential – from the drive of its residents to external factors such as property tax and investments in infrastructure,” says Ted Mallett, CFIB vice-president and chief economist.

“Partnering on projects like the Innovation Centre, which is now under construction, will help create the jobs of tomorrow,” says Basran. “If we want to continue our economic recovery, our city’s leadership must remain open to new ideas and innovation while empowering our small businesses to grow.”

Kelowna recently was awarded the Open For Business Award by the B.C. Small Business Roundtable for the second year in a row and has the fourth-lowest property tax and user fee charges among B.C. cities.

Kelowna Named Top Entrepreneurial City in Canada

PHOTO: Lane Merrifield is just one of a group of Kelowna’s top entrepreneurs who are endorsing Colin Basran’s mayoral bid. View the video

Some of the top entrepreneurs in Kelowna have endorsed Basran’s mayoral bid, including Lane Merrifield, co-funder of Club Penguin Founder; Jeff Keen, former CEO of Accelerate Okanagan; Carmen Sparg, CEO of Total Interiors; and Kelsey Ramsden, named Canada’s #1 female entrepreneur by Profit Magazine. Basran himself is a founding member of Okanagan Young Professionals Collective.

Kelowna ranked fifth below Calgary periphery, Edmonton periphery, Saskatoon and Regina. The City of Edmonton and City of Calgary are ranked 6th and 9th.