Statistics Canada sets Guelph, Ont. high on the local business conditions index

Statistics Canada sets Guelph, Ont.  high on the local business conditions index

Business in Guelph, Ontario, responds to the Royal City’s position on an experimental index measuring the impact of Canada’s business environment.

Statistics Canada Real-time index for local business terms places Guelph at number two out of 25 urban centers in Canada as of August 22.

The index places Guelph (with a score of 337.47) ahead of Montreal (17th; 233.57), Toronto (22nd; 211.01) and Vancouver (23rd; 209.86). Number one was Regina (345.22).

Executive Director of the Downtown Guelph Business Association Marty Williams is pleased with the results.

“Main Street businesses are mentioned and the local character of independent entrepreneurs is measured,” Williams said. “It’s not clear what the real thing is that gives us an edge over our peers. But if we compare apples to apples in these different communities, it says something about (the companies in Guelph).”

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President of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce Shakiba Shayani agrees with Williams.

“There is a diverse cross-section of industries, post-secondary institutions and research and innovation in Guelph and the surrounding regions,” Shayani says.

“That makes it a prime location to do business.”

The Real-Time Local Business Conditions Index measures the impact on businesses in Canada since the start of the pandemic. There are three components that Stats Can uses to build the index: the economic size of a business district at the local level, the operating conditions of the businesses in a particular area, and the level of activity in the area using road traffic data.

Williams said it would serve businesses here, especially small businesses, better if the numbers were broken down further.

“We get so much HRT revenue from the food sector, and we get so much from retail, and so much from the service sector,” Williams said. “But you don’t see that level in this index.”

Shayani said, while it’s great to see Guelph beating out larger urban centers, compared to a city like Kitchener or St. Catharine’s, it paints a more accurate picture.

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“The aim should always be growth,” Shayani said. “But as a means of evaluating how we’re doing, it makes sense to look at more similar communities.”

Kitchener was 11th (268.49), London 21st (220.43) and Hamilton 25th (202.64).

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