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Business Indicators & Decision Making

Apr 16, 2018
As we look to attract new investment to the city, it’s important Lethbridge keeps a few key factors at top of mind in supporting business growth. These key factors are things site selectors look at when they consider Lethbridge as a place to do business. They’re also factors in keeping existing businesses here and fostering their expansion.

Area Development Magazine has been tracking site selection factors through a survey of corporate executives for over 30 years. While the importance of certain factors change over time as economic circumstances and needs of industry evolve, there are some common themes that consistently hit home.

The availability of skilled labour consistently ranks near the top of the list. Lethbridge has two post-secondary institutions that provide a skilled and knowledgeable talent pool to draw on. As a community we must look for ways to retain the talent that is being nurtured and developed in our educational system. In a recent study, we discovered that in Lethbridge, residents value having opportunities for positive social interactions that appeal to a range of interests and this is particularly important to millennials. Creating more ‘social offerings’ is one of the ways our community can retain young talent and create deeper connections to others and this city.

The quality of life ranking includes thoughts on climate, housing availability and costs, healthcare facilities, ratings of public schools, cultural opportunities and crime rates. Some of these we can influence and some like climate we simply respond to.

On the whole, Lethbridge performs quite well across a broad range of these quality of life metrics. Lethbridge also prides itself on being a welcoming community. In fact, research has found that in general, we are ‘most welcoming to families with young children.’ This can be seen in recent investments made in supporting family-focused places such as the ATB Centre and the Legacy Regional Park - two key destinations that improve citizens’ quality of life.

Transportation is always a major factor for business development. Major highway accessibility with the nexus of Highway 3 and Highway 4 as well as changes at the airport combine with strong rail links to position Lethbridge well for capitalizing on new trade opportunities provided by the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Occupancy and construction costs round out the top four factors supporting economic growth  - governments must ensure that their jurisdictions remain competitive. Lethbridge is committed to establishing a positive environment in this area.

At EDL we continue to look at indicators and research to help guide our decision-making and identify opportunities for growth and improvement. One of the ways we do this is by hosting events that connect business leaders and community members to the resources they need to make informed business decisions and also connect them to new people and new ideas within our the community.

We look forward to hosting our Food For Thought 2018 event this May featuring Social Entrepreneur and Restauratuer Mark Brand. This year’s breakfast will prompt your thinking around the areas of economy, community-minded business leadership and positive social impact. Visit to purchase your ticket today.

Trevor Lewington
Chief Executive Officer, Economic Development Lethbridge


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