Lethbridge Business ClimateLethbridge’s increasingly diversified economic base benefits from the healthy mix of businesses that are anchored to our community. The industry diversity in our city fosters a healthy business environment and also creates potential for future enhancement and development opportunities.
With no business, payroll or machinery tax, available serviced industrial land ready for construction and office space at less than $15 per square foot, Lethbridge offers a low-cost operating environment with demonstrated savings in areas such as taxation, land, construction and transportation.
According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Alberta has the most simple tax regime with a single tax rate for all Albertans, corporations and small business. Businesses operating in Canada also have access to Scientific Research and Educational Development (SR&ED) tax credits. The Federal government offers SR&ED credits worth up to 20% of a company’s eligible expenditures while Alberta offers an additional 10% up to $4 million.
In a 2012 international business cost study by management consultants KPMG, Lethbridge ranked in the top three in terms of transportation, facility and location related costs. As you can see by the following competitive rankings, Lethbridge remains competitive among the mature markets in the following areas:
- #1 most cost-competitive country for digital operations (14.9% lower than the US) which primarily reflects the costs of salaries and benefits associated with hiring creative and technical IT professionals)
- #2 most cost-competitive country for R&D (10.7% less than the US)
- #3 most cost-competitive country for corporate service operations (8.3% less than the US)
- #4 most cost-competitive country for manufacturing operations (3.5% less than the US)
Learn more about the City's commitment to supporting infrastructure in Lethbridge in order to foster business growth.
Traditionally anchored in Agriculture, new and emerging sectors continue to grow adding value and diversity to the existing industry strengths in the region. The Geospatial Technology industry is growing in Lethbridge and includes leading companies such as Planet Labs Geomatics and Blue Sky Spectroscopy. Within this sector, opportunity for growth is strong in the areas of:
- Agriculture is a main industry in southern Alberta with nearly 1,200 agriculture related businesses in Lethbridge
- The Lethbridge Research Centre is one of the largest facilities within Canada’s network of Agriculture and Agri-food research centres
- Farming Smarter is a newly formed organization representing agricultural producers in southern Alberta with a mission is to support profitable sound agriculture by creating innovative opportunities for producers
Oil & Gas and Mining
- Alberta is home to the 3rd largest crude oil resource in the world
- Statistics Canada reported that oil and gas extraction firms planned on investing $48 billion in 2012. Employment in Canada from oil sands investments expected to grow from 75,000 jobs in 2010 to 905,000 jobs in 2035
- Total GDP impact of oil sands investment and operation over 25-year period is estimated to be $2,106 billion for Canada
- The Bakken Formation which Lethbridge is part of holds about 500 billion barrels of oil and has recently been deemed commercially viable
Environmental Services and Geoscience
- Presence of leading global environmental consultants deploying GIS technologies to improve business processes including UMA Group, AMEC Earth & Environmental, SNC-Lavalin, and Stantec Consulting
- Substantial environmental research base at University of Lethbridge Earth & Environment research pillar, Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE), Department of Geography - Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Water Research, nine applied research experts with an environmental focus
- Specialist environmental graduate output: GIS concentration options in Environmental Science, Urban and Regional Studies, Geography, PhD in Earth, Space and Physical Science
- This includes services such as Software Development; IT Hardware Infrastructure; IT Support for Hardware and Software; RFID; Geospatial Imaging Services; Cloud Computing; Network Monitoring and Management Services; Web Development Services
- Post-secondary graduates from programs in computer science, information systems, mathematics, and computer information technology
Lethbridge continues to move towards becoming a leader in ‘place-oriented’ technology and analysis.