There are 14 indicators grouped into three categories: presence – the scale and growth of business development, perspective – optimism and growth plans, and policy – the taxation and regulation by local governments. Fort St. John scored a 12.6 out of 25 on presence, 19 out of 35 on perspective, and 22.9 out of 40 on policy, for a total score of 54.5 out of 100. By comparison, the highest ranked city of Greater Calgary scored 67.6.
Notably, of all the included communities, Fort St. John has the highest number of business establishments per capita, with 6.6 per 100 population.
“The higher number of business establishments per individual in a municipality points to a greater proportion of business leaders, more business opportunities, increased competition and the potential for higher employment growth,” according to the report.
FortSt. John also has the sixth highest number of self-employed residents, at 14.3 per cent. Top marks also came in the city’s percentage of businesses in a “good” state, while businesses with full-time hiring plans were at the bottom of the rankings.
Local government policy may be considered a hindrance to entrepreneurs, as 64.9 of businesses believe the cost of local government is a problem, while 75.6 indicate local government regulation as an issue.
The methodology used in the 2013 report was different than that used in 2012, but if the same methodology was used last year, Fort St. John would have been ranked 32nd with a ranking of 58.1.
The full rankings can be viewed here, or by downloading the attached file.