Canada’s Best Places for Business 2016

Lethbridge, Alta.

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Population: 119,995
Annualized population growth (%) 1.79
Avg. household income ($): 86,514
Total value of building permits issued, most recent year ($): 249,766,922
Avg. office lease rate ($ psf/yr): 19.46
Corporate income tax rate (%): 27.0
City website: www.lethbridge.ca

Market

Pop. within 1 hr commuting distance: 161,036
Adults who have completed apprenticeship, trades certificate or diploma (%): 9.85
Adults who have completed university degree (%): 20.64
Adults who have completed bachelor''s degree (%): 70.5
Unemployment rate, most recent month (%): 8.34

Costs

Avg. home price ($): 233,071
Avg. retail lease rate ($ psf/yr): 21.69
Avg. industrial lease rate ($psf/yr): 11.01
Avg. general lease rate ($psf/yr): 19.28
Peak electricity cost for businesses ($/kWh) N/A
Peak electricity cost for mid-size commercial business ($/kWh): 0.1290
Peak electricity cost for mid-size industrial business ($/kWh): 0.1290

Taxes & Regulation

Business license cost ($): $50 to $199
Avg. processing time for building permit, most recent calendar year: Less than 1 week
Non-residential property tax rate (% of assessed value): 1.885500
Commercial property tax rate (% of assessed value): N/A
Industrial property tax rate (% of assessed value): N/A
Small business income tax rate, if different (%): 13.5
Sales tax (%): 5
Special regulations or zoning: Lethbridge’s Land Use Bylaw permits the establishment of direct control (DC) districts, within which the municipal council may set permitted and/or discretionary uses and development standards

Other

Largest employers: Alberta Health Services; University of Lethbridge; City of Lethbridge
Leading industries: Manufacturing; Government; Agri-Food Processing
Value of capital projects >$5 million planned or under construction ($ million): 987,400,000
Special amenities: Lethbridge is home to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden and is the 2nd sunniest city in Canada. Annual festivals include Whoop-Up Days and a Dragonboat festival. It recently opened a new, 125,000 square-foot ice arena.
Special economic development initiatives: Lethbridge hosts tecconnect, a startup incubator, and implemented the China B2B project, which aims to connect local businesses to Chinese markets.