Greater Victoria ranks 66th on City Entrepreneurial Index, according to small business group

Chamber CEO Catherine Holt says report ‘needs to be taken with a grain of salt’

A Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) survey of 125 Canadian municipalities finds Greater Victoria in 66th spot on the City Entrepreneurial Index.

First published a decade ago, the survey draws on 13 “entrepreneurship indicators” grouped into three categories (presence, perspective and policy) to look at the “entrepreneurial characteristics” of Canadian cities.

Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and Chief Economist, and Andreea Bourgeois, CFIB’s senior analyst, said in the report’s introduction that the report tries to capture the “dynamism of each community,” then place it on a measurable scale.

“Although we produce city rankings, we are not trying to define a singular concept of entrepreneurship or success,” they write. “Instead, we are trying to identify the relative entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses of cities across the full range of measures. No city is strong across all elements, but each has at least one relative set of strengths.”

One of Victoria’s strengths is the category of entrepreneurial presence, or diversity, with Victoria ranking 9th among major cities surveyed. The City of Vancouver and its periphery tied for first place, followed by the City of Toronto and its periphery. Kelowna finished in the fifth place, followed by the City of Montreal and its periphery. Quebec’s Gatineau (8th) and Ontario’s Belleville (10th) round out the Top 10.

“These diverse economies have lots of business start-ups and show above-average businesses per capita because of the wide range of opportunities large markets generate,” it reads.

Local entrepreneurs also appear to be generally supportive of local economic policy, according to the CFBI’s Business Barometer Index, as Victoria scores 68.2 out of 100. (The higher the level of business confidence, the better a municipality is at creating conditions for business growth in the area, according to CFBI).

“It’s actually pretty good,” said Mallet in an interview.

Mallet though also said that the region’s ratio of commercial versus residential taxes still remains high at 3.61. (Broadly translated, it means that commercial property owners pay $3.61 in municipal taxes for every dollar by residential property owners. Mallet said this ratio can be “problematic” for the region.

RELATED: Saanich rejects call for tax relief in confirming commercial share of taxes

Catherine Holt, executive director of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, welcomes the survey, but warns against reading too much into its findings.

“We know Greater Victoria is a great place for entrepreneurs, and we’re not surprised the region scores highly for entrepreneurial presence,” she said. “We also know our region has work to do to ensure businesses pay a more equitable share of municipal property taxes.”

But she added that this report “needs to be taken with a grain of salt” because it attempts to quantify its results with subjective data.

“Lists are easy to digest, but add a few points here or there and Greater Victoria would rank much higher,” she said. “As the largest organization representing businesses in our region, we know entrepreneurs would be reluctant to leave given the option to move to any other city to work, live and play.”

The report did not break Greater Victoria into its individual municipalities because of methodological constraints.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Junior Shamrocks’ season openers this weekend

Ter 1 B squad plays Saturday at home while Junior A is off to Maple Ridge for a road game on Sunday

New festival celebrating Croatian culture to be held in Victoria

CROfest will be held May 4 and 5 at Croatian Catholic Church of St. Leopold Mandíc

Tryouts underway for Oak Bay High golf team

Cool April weather brings a chilly start for school team

Two dogs rescued from Colwood house fire

Black Labrador retriever rescued and revived by West Shore crews

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Most Read