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October 27, 2017 8:33 pm

Study Finds Optimism Among PG Businesses

Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 2:10 PM
Photos 250News

Photos 250News

Prince George, B.C. – Businesses in Prince George remain optimistic despite national and global economic challenges.

That was the finding of a new survey of 65 local business persons in the city’s Business Outreach Program for 2016.


Melissa Barcellos, City of Prince George’s manager of economic development

The results were shared during a Prince George Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Civic Centre this afternoon.

A wide range of business owners took part – from the real estate and rental leasing sector to food services and forestry, mining, oil and gas.

More than two thirds of the participating companies were in business for over a decade and ranged in size from 1 employee to over 200.

69% of the companies expected to increase their staffing levels within three years – an increase from 46% two years ago.

Another promising figure was that 94% of companies said employee retention is not a problem, another big improvement from 2014 when the response was 61%.

One caveat is that a few companies reported losing employees to the public sector such as the City of Prince George or Northern Health noting it is difficult to keep up with the wage rates.

In terms of sales a whopping 80% of companies projected their sales to increase in the next year. Some of the factors in their optimism included increased demand from the US market maintaining the forest sector and increased export opportunities for the manufacturing industry.

Suggestions for improvements included better access at the airport – namely more direct flights to Canadian, American and international destinations and for increased commercial utilization of the airport (this despite the fact they rated access to airport facilities high).

There was also some concern regarding illegal dumping and calls for the city to help mitigate the problem.

Overall though, manager of economic development Melissa Barcellos was impressed with the results.

“Business owners are reporting that they see improvements to the local business climate and that’s really encouraging considering what the economy globally is facing right now,” she said.

“And the other thing is they are reporting that the workforce is very stable and that was a big change from previous reports where they expected they would have to recruit quite a few more people and would have challenges doing that.”

She said part of the credit goes to city website Move Up Prince George.

“It is working. We’re getting lots of feedback and anecdotal evidence that it’s working and we’ve been tracking our progress by contacting employers that post on the website to see if they’ve hired and if those people are from Prince George already or hiring from Prince George and it’s about 10% coming from outside the city.”

Mayor Lyn Hall said it’s a good news story all around though he noted the city still has work to do.

“Yeah it is. I think the report outcomes are positive yet there’s some things the businesses said to us that we’d really like to look at as far as our operational side and I think this is a chance for us to create a real partnership between the city and the businesses in the community.”

You can read the report by clicking here.


Chamber of Commerce Spin it.There is an election on the way.

    2 more years until the next municipal election.

They’ve got high hopes, they’ve got high hopes, they’ve got high apple pie, in the sky hopes.

I see a room full of delusional people, refusing to accept the reality of the situation. They even mentioned the airport again, hoping against all hope that those big international commercial cargo jets flying past us overhead will actually land here on the extended runway some day.

The BC government recently released it’s ten (10) year economic forecast, that show minimal growth across all sectors, the only one that will be hiring is in education, only because they expect a high number of job opening due to retirement.

oldman1 has it right, this story is nothing but positive political spin, on a bad, if not dire, situation!

Just what does increased export opportunities for the manufacturing industry mean. Do we have a manufacturing industry in this area??

The workforce is stable because there are a limited amount of jobs available and people are hanging on to the jobs they have.

Its interesting that when people do change jobs its to go into high paying jobs with benefits with the City, Northern Health, and the Public sector.

Unless we get something going pretty soon that will create some jobs, we will head into a downturn, and then into a full scale tailspin.

    The only thing that can really create and maintain jobs is CONSUMER demand that can be made fully EFFECTIVE demand. You could have 100% full employment and if the total incomes received from all those jobs won’t fully liquidate ALL the costs that flow through into prices at the point of final retail in each and every same fiscal period, (and they won’t), you’re still going to have a problem. The problem isn’t one of ‘jobs’ ~ which are disappearing almost as fast, or faster, than they can be replaced. It’s one of INCOMES. Of augmenting them, separate from employment, so that we can actually fully pay to consume what we already produce.

Sure allot of glass half empty posters on here, I suspect every one of you is somebody who receives a paycheck from a company and bitches about it when depositing it at the bank.

    Not really, I think Palopu and myself, and some others on here, are more grounded in reality. We do not concentrate on the negatives but we see them and acknowledge them, sometimes the negatives need to be identified before solutions can be tried to address those negatives.

    For instance; when it comes to severe crimes, Prince George is ranked third in the COUNTRY. We are not proud of that fact, but simply ignoring it will not make it go away. BC is ranked among the highest in the country, with Northern BC even higher, in child poverty rates. What is so “optimistic” about these issue which have been dogging this City for almost a decade?

    We need to get real, in the here and now, to make Prince George a better place to live, and not speculate on how bright the future will be for local businesses, IMO.

    It somewhat dismays me to see all this focus on the future “economy and jobs”, when the BC Government’s own 10 year economic outlook for the province, including up here, indicates economic and job stagnation will persist for the next 10 years. It’s time to get real people.

      Quite often its about getting the proper information as to whats happening in the area.

      As an example this article states that they contact employer,s that post on their website, and find out if they are hiring, and if so how many people, and how many are from outside the City.

      So on the surface this sounds like a reasonable statement however in fact it isn’t because we did not get any answers like.

      1. How many employers actually post on the website.
      2. How many people were actually hired by those who post on the website.
      3. Knowing that 10% of the people hired by those who post on their website, but not knowing the number actually hired, makes the statement that

      So a report on business people having a positive outlook and your response is about crime and poverty, two issues with no mention in the story. Yes, you are negative nellies. Anytime something positive is reported on you and the like you feel compelled to bring up out of context negative issues.

      Get off your ass and do something about it, sitting there and whining about off topic issues does nothing but make others roll their eyes at you.

3. continued. , makes the statement that 10% were hired from outside the City irrelevant because it tells us nothing.

That’s the problem. Getting the hard honest facts, is usually a problem.

Business people having a positive outlook is a good thing. Its even better if they can back up the positive outlook with some hard facts. If they cant then its nothing more than **spin**

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