Penticton tops in B.C. for small business

Penticton top 25 entrepreneurial cities in Canada, and ranked No. 1 in B.C. for small business.

Penticton just scored some more bragging rights, business-wise, to add to the recent Open for Business award the city received last month.

The city has made some significant gains in ranking in the latest Communities in Boom report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which was released Monday.

“Penticton has broken the top 25 communities in Canada,” said Mayor Garry Litke.  “We are now one of the top 25 entrepreneurial cities in Canada, and we have been ranked No. 1 in B.C. for small business.

“That’s a huge jump over last year. Last year we were just behind Kelowna, 42nd in the country.”

Penticton 2012 scores in the Communities in Boom report placed the city third in the province, behind Kelowna and Prince George. But the huge jump in the 2013 score not only bumped Penticton to the top of the B.C. list, it pushed the city 17 rungs up the ladder to #25 in Canada.

“We increased our scores in small business presence, perspective and policies and we are now ahead of larger centres like greater Vancouver,” said Litke, adding that the CFIB noted the reduction in red tape, improved access to city services, generally improved customer service as factors in the better score.

Penticton scored 59.6 out of a possible 100 points, and strong scores in all three major categories, presence, perspective and policy. The top entrepreneurial city in Canada earned 67 points.

Penticton also finished ahead of larger centres like Greater Vancouver, 41; and Calgary, 48; in addition to outperforming other cities from the B.C. Interior, including Kelowna, which ranked 28 this year, Vernon, 47; and Kamloops, 84.

“A great deal of work has been done to make Penticton a friendly community for small business and entrepreneurs, and

this CFIB report validates the city’s efforts,” said Litke.

This is the sixth Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities report.

The CFIB studied 107 municipalities with populations of 25,000 or more and ranked them based on 14 indicators in 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 indicators reflect the actions local governments have taken with respect to business taxation and regulation.

“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,” wrote Ted Mallett, CFIB vice-president and chief economist, in the preface to the report.

“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.”