Who We Are :: Blog
Posted On: Friday, January 27, 2017
On January 16, 2017 Ted Mallett Chief Economist of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business spoke to a sold out event in Collingwood to explain how Collingwood scored the best in Canada for entrepreneurs. For cities smaller than 150,000 Collingwood achieved a score of 72.2 in the 2016 survey which earned it a tie for the best with Riviere-du-Loup in Quebec. This rather is remarkable outcome for a community toward the smaller end of the population spectrum compared to lower ranking municipalities.
Mr. Mallett explained that his team actually rates communities based on 9 factors to come up with a final score. The criteria include business establishments per capita, self-employment, information and cultural businesses, and each of these categories were winners for Collingwood. Building permits for commercial, industrial and institutional were not high in Collingwood. While residential construction is at a very high level the investment in business sector tends to follow after a few years. In the category of life satisfaction, Collingwood scored very high. Mr. Mallett commented that living in a beautiful environment and having access to many recreational opportunities helps attract and retain entrepreneurs.
All entrepreneurs complain about local government regulations and high property taxes and Collingwood is no exception. There was some relief from the municipal employees showing empathy in response to complaints. The final screening category was the use of BizPal, an online source of information for permits and licences. The idea is that if businesses seek out information about regulations and permits, they are more likely to succeed.
Mr. Mallett commented that developing and maintaining an entrepreneurial environment takes a lot of time and effort. Often communities where a few large companies or employers dominate, lack the vitality of a strong entrepreneurial sector. Collingwood has seen the disappearance of many large manufacturing companies, but the energy of the entrepreneurs has more than replaced those jobs.
For the Town of Collingwood it is a question of maintaining the momentum into 2017. Of course there is no more room to improve the score when you are at the top. But the culture of the entrepreneurial business is well established and this will create growth in the coming years.
Several members of the Scholte Team are very active volunteers in mentoring and business financing. Contact Us if you would like insight in where to locate or expand your business.
Submitted by Martin Oosterveld Ph.D.,P.Eng.
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