Prince George is moving up in the province according to BC Business Magazine’s ranking of “Best Cities to Work in BC 2017”. Prince George came in at number 18…which is up one spot from last year, and nine spots from 2015.
Rankings are determined by 7 factors; five-year population growth, five-year average household income growth, average household income, average household income under 35, average home costs, average household spending on recreation and unemployment rate.
Business ultimately drives the economy, providing employment and investments opportunities in communities.
The Prince George Chamber of Commerce says it is seeing steady and reliable growth. CEO, Christie Ray, says “We are seeing more young entrepreneurs, young professionals, being apart of the business community.”
The Executive Director of Downtown Prince George, Colleen Van Mook, has seen a surge in activity. “Since January, we can count at least 17 new relocated or reopened businesses just in our downtown core.”
One business, The Niche Clothing & Trading Co., just opened it’s doors in June. Owner, Kellie Young, says rent is affordable and the cities population can sustain a growing business. “In Jasper, which you know is a tourist town, what you see is what you get for the amount of people coming in. I wanted to expand my business and also I grew up here and my family is here.”
Coming in at 18 on “Best Cities to Work in BC 2017” may still seem a little low. Ray says it’s important to keep in mind that different surveys; even if focused on the same topic, will often have different outcomes because of the way the different factors are weighed. “An interesting thing about this particular survey is that they weighted 5-year income growth at 30%. So very very strongly compared to the other 6 factors. That could be a reason why we may not have jumped even higher in the rankings.”
This past summer, the Conference Board of Canada did a similar survey. Prince George came in as the number one mid-sized city in the country for economic growth.
“Prince George did very very well in this particular survey on amount of money spent in housing, also in income for individuals under the age of 35,” says Ray. “If you focus on those aspects, Prince George is doing amazingly well.”