Penticton rated a top entrepreneurial city

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses ranked Penticton 42 out of 103 mid-sized Canadian communities

The City of Penticton received two major honours this past week, being named among the top 50 entrepreneurial cites in Canada and being honoured by FortisBC for conservation efforts.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses ranked Penticton 42 out of 103 mid-sized Canadian communities in their 2012 Communities in Boom report, while Fortis gave the city a conservation excellence award for saving 300,000 kWh through a number of different energy efficient upgrades.

It’s not the first time Penticton has made it into the top 50 on the CFIB’s annual report, though this year’s rank is down a little from 2011, when the city ranked 38.

Mayor Dan Ashton said it is valuable peer recognition and still a strong performance, especially in context.

“We are in the top 50 in all of Canada, but more importantly we are in the top three in B.C.,” said Ashton. Only Prince George and Kelowna rank higher.

“That has an awful lot to say for the staff and the hard and diligent work they are doing so that business has an opportunity to blossom in Penticton,” said Ashton. “Entrepreneurs contribute a great deal to Penticton. Their hard work and creativity are the backbone of our vibrant community. Penticton is committed to fostering a business climate that works for small enterprise, and this report showcases those efforts. While we have done a lot, there is room to do more. We will continue to look for new ways that local government can work with business and industry, which benefits the entire community.”

For the report, the CFIB studied municipalities having populations of 25,000 or more and ranked them based on 14 indicators, grouped into three main categories: presence, perspective and policy. Presence includes the representation of the scale and growth of business ownership, as well as industrial diversity, while perspective covers indicators associated with optimism and growth plans. Policy indictors reflect the actions local governments have taken with respect to business taxation and regulation.

“Entrepreneurs and communities are intrinsically linked. Entrepreneurs build cities and cities enable entrepreneurship,” wrote Ted Mallett, CFIB vice-president and chief economist, in the preface to the report.

“It may seem obvious, but one of the surest signs of an entrepreneurial hot spot is the presence of a high concentration of entrepreneurs and a high business start-up rate. It is also important that business owners have high levels of optimism and success in their operations. Good public policy is also critical, so we look at the presence of supportive local government tax and regulatory policies.”

Ashton was no less pleased to be able to announce that Penticton was among the 45 individuals and corporations in the list of  PowerSense award winners.

FortisBC featured Penticton’s advanced waste water treatment facility for its energy efficiency. The city also replaced 18 100-watt lights along the Skaha Lake promenade with new and significantly more energy-efficient LED lights. And at the Penticton Art Gallery, a new high-efficient, natural gas boiler means lower energy bills and a more comfortable work space for employees.

“This is not the first year. Penticton has been winning these awards consistently over the last three or four years,” said Coun. Gary Litke, citing the city’s climate action committee and ongoing climate action plan as factors.