The City of Cranbrook has made tremendous strides in creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurs.
The city has evolved to become a thriving Kootenay hub, but it didn’t happen by accident. Cranbrook’s prosperity is a direct result of the teamwork achieved by the mayor, council, and administration.
The city council members approach their roles with an “open for business” mindset, building and continuing to facilitate the development of Cranbrook into a progressive, growing community.
Today, the City of Cranbrook can proudly claim several accomplishments:
Bringing new businesses to the forefront
More entrepreneurs are opting to run their companies in Cranbrook. Business license registration in the city has increased from 844 licenses in 2014 to 1,884 in 2021—a staggering 123% increase, helping to foster growth while boosting the economy.
Getting developments underway
Building permits over the past five years have increased by 105% compared to the previous five-year period ($136 million from 2012-2016 versus $279 million from 2017-2021). This uptick 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, city council members 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 expedited, efficient municipal approval. Streamlining this process has facilitated further progress 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 across the region. The City of Cranbrook worked in collaboration 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. This rebranding initiative highlights all the best things about Cranbrook, contributing significantly to its growth and prosperity.
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 while also creating new jobs. The project was sold in November 2020 to Peak Industries, creating 40 jobs at the finger joint plant, jumpstarting the new era of prosperity.
Making substantial airport upgrades
In the past decade, the Canadian Rockies International Airport has received $20 million in capital to contribute to its expansion, rehabilitation, and other improvements. These 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 up to date with the most relevant information on the latest developments. Now, anyone can find basic information and statistics about the city, such as how many people moved to the city in the past year. This key data has proven useful not only for the general public, but also for business owners, developers and potential investors.
Breathing new life into the downtown core
Downtown revitalization efforts began in 2014 with the City listing the old fire hall for sale. This sale made room for the Fire Hall Kitchen & Tap, a bustling local pub. Since then, numerous other investments have continued to contribute to developing, beautifying, and rejuvenating the community’s core. The city is currently undertaking a Downtown Revitalization Master Plan, which will lead to improvements in parking, redevelopment opportunities, and more.
Tackling unforeseen challenges
To combat the substantial challenges incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city implemented the Economic Resilience Task Force (ERTF), a collaborative initiative designed to help businesses recover and rebuild. This difficult time required the most prompt, professional response—and the city was ready to meet the challenges head-on.
Creating a Tourism Master Plan
Tourism strengthens the economy, positively impacting trade, investment, international education, and several other key areas. Tourism businesses often employ local workers , with many sourcing their materials locally, creating more jobs and opportunities within the community. The city has decided to focus on this sector with the introduction of its 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. It only goes to show that there has never been a better time to choose Cranbrook.
For more information regarding investment opportunities, community improvement initiatives and ways to get involved, visit choosecranbrook.ca.