Squamish has been named as the most economically resilient city, according to BC Business Magazine, for its combination of factors ranging from population growth to economic diversity. The annual ranking has evolved over the years in terms of its focus and indicators, however this is the fourth time that Squamish has been ranked first.
“Squamish has a location and lifestyle that is desired by so many. As our community grows, our focus has been on working to diversify and strengthen our economy to create meaningful and lasting employment opportunities for our current and future workforce while working to make sure we’re resilient for the future opportunities and challenges that will face all communities,” says Mayor Armand Hurford. “We appreciate this recognition, and also acknowledge that efforts continue to address the most pressing issues of our time – affordability, access to childcare, upgrading facilities, maintaining and upgrading underground infrastructure, and workforce attraction and retention.”
The rankings were based on ten indicators including five-year population growth, resident sense of belonging, residential sales, rental vacancy rate, unemployment rate and economic diversity.
“We are working hard to preserve the connected community, access to trails and natural environment that attracts people to our town, while capitalizing on the benefits of being one of B.C.’s fastest growing communities,” continues Hurford. “As we continue to see development pressure, we’re looking to ensure we grow responsibly, and develop a complete community by protecting and enhancing employment space and industrial land.”
Squamish has attracted new industries and businesses in fields such as Green Tech, Agri Foods and Recreation Technology with a focus on developing two emerging areas, the Green Economy (clean technology and environmental services, innovative construction, wood products and forestry, and craft-food and beverage, and agriculture) and Outdoor Recreation (recreation technology and performance apparel design, creative industries and adventure-based media and film).
“The growth of both emerging and established key sectors is essential to ensuring our economic resilience well into the future, and we are creating opportunities to enhance and support these sectors,” says District of Squamish Economic Development Officer Kate Mulligan. “Our Economic Development office is taking a balanced approach to developing our economy that considers the economic, social, and environmental well-being of all of our residents. While there is still much work to do, this ranking is acknowledgement that we’re on the right track, and an opportunity to highlight the momentum of our vibrant business ecosystem.”