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Commentary

We are often called upon to provide commentary and data-based information for magazines, industry reports and local publications. The following articles provide a snapshot of some of the most recent information shared by our organization.

A look back shows 2019 was a strong year on most key indicators...

Feb 13, 2020
It can be challenging to decipher the mixed messages about the economy in the media and on-line from the reality on main street. On most key measures, the relative health and stability of the Lethbridge economy in 2019 is hard to dispute. 

Gross Domestic Product is an imperfect measure but is generally used to understand the activity occurring in the economy. Lethbridge GDP grew by...

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Population growth is interesting but when will we get a Red Lobster?

Jul 3, 2019
Much has been said already this week about Lethbridge busting through the 100,000 mark for population. We have a long history of jockeying for position with our friends in Red Deer for the title of Alberta’s third largest municipality and once again we have taken back the crown. With 101,482 people counted in Lethbridge we have gained an ever so slight advantage over Red Deer that has a 2019...

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Big Builds, Branding and GDP! A Great Way To Close Out a Decade.

Dec 23, 2019
2019 has been an active and relatively successful year for the economy in Lethbridge. Unlike most areas of the province which remained stalled, Lethbridge was forecast to see 2.6% growth in GDP this year and will see a similar predicted growth of 2.7% in 2020. Those numbers are attributed to a diverse portfolio of emerging innovators, traditional industry and public sector institutions in the city...

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LIving 'Brighter Together'

Nov 1, 2019
We’re doing something a little different this year!  Every other year, Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL) has conducted a Major Employer survey.  You can find the results on our website under the Market Data section.  As we prepare to launch this year’s survey, we wanted to find out more information and we wanted to not only look at the Major Employers but also our Sm...

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Reasons for optimism for second half of '19

Jul 30, 2019
As we look back on the first six months of the year, the economic news has been a bit of a mixed bag. The unemployment rate finally improved for the first time in seven months in June but at 6.2% remains higher than the same time last year in 2018 at 4.9%. Employment was up by 4,900 jobs from May, with full-time positions accounting for approximately three-quarters of these gains.  At the sam...

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Building a Big Future, We're Brighter Together

May 27, 2019
There are many big reasons to be optimistic about a bright future for Lethbridge. In 2019, we will celebrate the grand opening of the science and academic building at the University of Lethbridge creating new opportunities for students and researchers. Lethbridge will also see the opening of Cavendish Farms’ new french fry manufacturing facility creating new jobs and supporting potato grower...

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National Conference Shows EDL on the Right Track

Sep 30, 2018
In a world of constant change and digital disruption, staying current on issues and trends can be a real challenge. That’s why professional development and networking events are a worthwhile use of time in almost any profession.

I was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) to represent economic developers from across Al...

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Building the Lethbridge region as an Agrifood Hub

Aug 20, 2018
The last days of August are a bittersweet time as summer winds down and the return to school or regular work schedules are just over the horizon.

Of course, after summer comes the harvest, which is also a good time to take stock of the ways the agriculture sector continues to be a major contributor to the success and economic stability of southern Alberta. For Alberta farmers, 2018 has ...

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Building a Brighter Community. Together.

Jun 18, 2018
At Economic Development Lethbridge, we are in the business of building community. Together with our 25-member volunteer Board of Directors, we serve as stewards of the economic strategy for the city and work to support both the vision of our board as well as Lethbridge City Council’s strategic plan.

Over the next six months, we will be working to wrap up many of the projects ...

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Mark Brand Inspires Lethbridge to Pursue Social Entrepreneurship

May 29, 2018
Mark Brand opened his first restaurant, Boneta, in 2007 in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood. In the decade-plus since, he has parlayed his success as a chef and restauranteur into a series of social impact ventures with a shared commitment to food security, education, training and employment for marginalized people.

Brand’s projects demonstrate the power of entrepreneurship...

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Small Business & Innovation a Driving Force of Lethbridge's Economy

May 28, 2018
EDL is in the business of building community, serving as passionate stewards of the economic strategy for the city. With comprehensive market data, a network of partners and a committed team, we work together to support business retention and growth; investment attraction; entrepreneur training and development as well as marketing and advocacy.

New data from the This Is Lethbridge. A Br...

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Pitch & Presenting Workshop Success

Apr 30, 2018
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice. The same path to success is found in the business world as well and Darren Neuberger, a business advisor at Tecconnect in Lethbridge, says it’s a key undertaking for entrepreneurs who are making pitches and presentations aimed at growing their business.

“You want to make sure when you’re on your pitch that...

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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...

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A message from Bill Spenceley - Outgoing Board Chair

Mar 24, 2018
It’s an exciting time to be a part of Lethbridge. In fact, you could say the city is a pretty happening place -  a strong community, that’s getting stronger each year, with plenty of opportunity for business and industry to thrive, grow and succeed.

In the past year, Economic Development Lethbridge supported some major projects, the most notable of which was the Irving-...

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The Agriculture Industry in Southern Alberta

Jan 16, 2018
Looking back on the past year, it should come as no surprise that evidence continues to highlight the key contributions of the agrifood sector in southwestern Alberta to the regional economy and the province’s prosperity.

The most recent Census of Agriculture (2016) demonstrates the continued strength of the agriculture sector in Lethbridge County and its importance to the provinc...

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Construction in Lethbridge

Apr 16, 2018
At Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL), we work with a diverse group of community partners, organizations and business sectors to bring new enterprise and talent to the city, while helping existing businesses and entrepreneurs expand and grow. Lethbridge’s construction industry plays an important role in demonstrating to prospective investors that we have the capacity to build what they ne...

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Thoughts on 2017

Jan 27, 2018
The past 12 months have been busy ones for Economic Development Lethbridge and our community, and we are heading into 2018 full of optimism and high expectations.

Throughout 2017, EDL worked to bring new enterprise and talent to the city, while also helping existing businesses and entrepreneurs expand and grow. This year ground was finally broken on Cavendish Farms’ new $360 mill...

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Big Builds, Branding and GDP! A Great Way To Close Out a Decade.

Published on: Dec 23, 2019
2019 has been an active and relatively successful year for the economy in Lethbridge. Unlike most areas of the province which remained stalled, Lethbridge was forecast to see 2.6% growth in GDP this year and will see a similar predicted growth of 2.7% in 2020. Those numbers are attributed to a diverse portfolio of emerging innovators, traditional industry and public sector institutions in the city and surrounding area.

Some of the highlights this past year saw the opening of some major projects within the city. In spring the final stage of the ATB Centre was finished, including the opening of the Cor Van Raay YMCA. The fall brought two huge openings in the city as Science Commons officially opened at the University of Lethbridge and Cavendish Farms held a grand opening for their new potato processing plant in Sherring Industrial Park. With a price tag of nearly $1 billion combined, the 3 facilities provide a great example of how diversified Lethbridge truly is and will continue to be in the future. One building contributing to the wellness of our community on a social level, another leading the way for our students now and for years to come and the other helping boost our regional economy in several ways.

You could say those builds and others helped showcase why the future in Lethbridge is “Brighter Together”. It’s no coincidence Lethbridge - Brighter Together is the new community brand that was  officially launched this past September. This new community brand ideally will be embraced by local organizations to unify the community under one fluent message that we can do great things and move our city forward if we do it together. It’s also a great message to provide to partners provincially, nationally and internationally as they inquire about Lethbridge as a place to invest and do business.

Some other partnerships that came together in 2019 include…The launch of Canada’s Premier Food Corridor which is a partnership between 5 municipal organizations including Economic Development Lethbridge to help advance the Agri-Food sector in Southern Alberta through investment attraction and advocacy. Team Lethbridge held their 6th mission to the provincial legislature in Edmonton in November. Over 50 representatives from 22 local organizations travelled up highway 2 to visit the new provincial government to help them better understand how Lethbridge can help the province on several key issues and to educate ministers and their staff on the benefits of our city. Most recently, EDL joined forces with the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and Downtown BRZ to launch #ShopTogtherYQL. The initiative is an attempt to help drive shopping local this holiday season. Shoppers are asked to tag a photo of their shopping experience in Lethbridge for a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree in early January.

Having a diverse economy that touches on many sectors is one of the benefits we see at EDL when we have inquiries from perspective businesses and organizations. This year the number of inquiries from businesses looking to Choose Lethbridge as a destination is on par or slightly better than numbers, we’ve seen over the past couple years. Identifying the needs and goals of those potential businesses is the work we do behind the scenes to help turn these inquiries into a new dynamic, successful member of the local economy.

Happy Holidays, and the very best to you and yours in 2020.
Did you know head image

Did You Know?

There are more than $1 billion worth of construction projects either underway or planned in the Lethbridge region over the next 5 years.