Why choose Cranbrook? Don’t take a chance, it’s a choice to help businesses grow and succeed
January 4, 2023
The City of Cranbrook has made tremendous strides in creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurs
Cranbrook has evolved to become a thriving Kootenay hub—and that didn’t happen by accident. The city’s prosperity is a direct result of the teamwork achieved by the mayor, council and administration.
The city council members approached their roles with an “open for business” mindset, building Cranbrook into a progressive, growing community.
- Bringing new businesses to the forefront. More entrepreneurs are opting to run their companies in Cranbrook. Business license registration in our city has gone from 844 licenses in 2014 up to 1,884 in 2021—a staggering 123% increase, helping to foster growth and boost our economy.
- Getting developments underway. Building permits over the past five years have increased by 105 per cent compared to the previous five-year period ($136 million from 2012-2016 versus $279 million from 2017-2021). This is a fantastic indicator that Cranbrook is getting bigger and better, with a bright future ahead.
- Investing in a vibrant community. Considerable funds have been invested to make the city more attractive. By implementing a road tax, industrial land development and downtown revitalization, we manage to bring out the best of what Cranbrook has to offer.
- Finding real solutions to the housing crisis. Housing availability and cost present a considerable challenge in B.C. and beyond. To address this housing crisis, the Cranbrook mayor and council called special meetings to expedite the necessary development projects and get more housing built in a timely manner. Examples of these worthwhile projects include Legacy Summit and Broadstreet Properties.
- Streamlining the municipal approval process. The planning and engineering staff have worked together cohesively to enable fast, efficient municipal approval. Streamlining this process has allowed more progress to be made in local developments and other areas.
- Supporting key initiatives. Cranbrook was the pilot location for the Buy Basin and Shop Local campaigns—effectively boosting business all across the region. The City of Cranbrook worked together in partnership with Columbia Basin Trust to back these integral projects.
- Rebranding for success. Choose Cranbrook (a new brand sharing narrative of the city) received the prestigious Best of the Best Award for Marketing at the 2021 Marketing Canada Awards, presented by the Economic Development Association of Canada. The rebranding initiative highlights all the best things about Cranbrook and contributes significantly to the growth and prosperity of the city.
- Attracting industrial development. In 2018, the Tembec Lands Project purchased 99 acres of brownfield with plans to develop the land. The acquisition of approximately 100 acres of industrial zoned land encourages further investment and creates new jobs. The city’s industrial project with the Tembec land was sold in November 2020 to Peak Industries, creating 40 jobs at the finger joint plant. The prosperity has started.
- Making substantial airport upgrades. In the past decade, more than $20 million in capital has been invested into the expansion, rehabilitation and other improvements to the Canadian Rockies International Airport. The upgrades enabled Cranbrook to become a major transportation hub for those working or living in the Kootenays.
- Keeping the community informed. The City of Cranbrook has launched a data portal to keep community members and stakeholders aware of the latest developments. Now anyone can find basic information and statistics about the city, such as how many people moved here in the past year. This has been useful not only to the general public, but also to business owners, developers and potential investors. Check out the data portal online now.
- Breathing new life into the downtown core. Downtown revitalization started in 2014 when the City listed the old fire hall for sale. This made room for the Fire Hall Kitchen & Tap, a bustling local pub. Since then, there have been numerous other investments made to beautify and rejuvenate the community’s core. The city is currently undertaking a Downtown Revitalization Master Plan that will lead to improvements in parking, redevelopment opportunities and more.
- Tackling unforeseen challenges. The city represented the Economic Resilience Task Force (ERTF), a collaborative initiative designed to help businesses recover from the challenges of COVID-19. This difficult time required the most prompt, professional response—and we were ready to meet the challenges head-on.
- Creating a Tourism Master Plan. Tourism strengthens the economy, having a positive impact on trade, investment, international education and a number of other key areas. Tourism businesses often employ local workers and also source their materials locally, creating more jobs and opportunities within the community. We have decided to focus on this sector with the introduction of our Tourism Master Plan.
Given the accomplishments and growth of this forward-thinking community, it’s no wonder that so many business owners are coming to the area. There has never been a better time to choose Cranbrook.