Chamber of Commerce:
What do you feel are the greatest opportunities and challenges for business in Lethbridge?

A

 

Burke

Answer

Strengths: 1. Lethbridge is ranked as one of the best places for business 2. Encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in Lethbridge. Challenges: 1. The development and need of an improved transit system. 2. Lack of a fully functioning airport

C

 

Burrows-Johnson

Answer

I feel the greatest opportunities for business include products related to the use of renewable energy, housing and construction in the Downtown and older neighbourhoods, the development of local businesses that export product from the city as a result of an online business and new products or byproducts from the agricultural sector. I feel the biggest challenges for businesses, and for retailers in particular, is the exponential growth in online shopping, the rise in the minimum wage and business and carbon taxes, and an underdeveloped airport. Recycling and the requirement to recycle by industry and business will be both a challenge and an opportunity.

M

 

Campbell

Answer

The city is at a great population right now. There is great opportunity for growth. With that growth we have to make sure we have infrastructure. We have to monitor that growth.

J

 

Carlson

Answer

Three opportunities spring to mind: 1. LOCATION. Our location near Calgary and along the corridors connecting BC, Saskatchewan, and Montana make for an excellent home base for manufacturing and export. As the CANAMEX highway gets closer to a reality, this will be an even larger boon. 2. POPULATION. As we reach 100k population, there will be many more businesses willing to locate to our community. 3. CO-LOCATION. As larger enterprises like Cavendish Farms move to our community, there will be excellent opportunities for ancillary and complimentary businesses. Bureaucracy and red tape have often been cited as challenges, Council has worked to reduce this, and will continue to do so.

J

 

Coffman

Answer

Reaching 100,000 residents will be both the greatest opportunity and greatest challenge. This threshold will spur rapid growth and new retailers, industry and commerce will view our city as a ‘gateway to opportunity.’ With this comes residential growth, which brings a new, diverse population of people with new entrepreneurship, specialization and creative ideas. This same rapid growth will also challenge existing infrastructure, requiring unforeseen changes, new priorities, and re-allocating resources. Therefore, we must re-examine all our policies and procedures to ensure sustainable growth in strategic manner, to meet the new opportunities and challenges of residents and businesses alike.

B

 

Crowson

Answer

Opportunities - partnerships with our post-secondary institutions - a population growth above the national average which maintains a strong demand for real estate and which grows the market - growing demand in areas such as agri-business, tech, bio-industrial - better positioning within the regional area through marketing and partnerships Challenges - finding ways to retain post-secondary graduates and build on their knowledge - rising costs - competition with online businesses and the need to develop ways to encourage people to buy local

C

 

Germshied

Answer

Some of our greatest advantages is we are a city accessible by all compass points, We have an airport capable of supporting large planes and international flights, and we have a beautiful community that supports diversity, and is working on reconciliation which shows love and dedication. Some of our bigger challenges are we are a city moving from small to large in stature. Sometimes this takes a shift in our mind set to realize we are ready for these opportunities. One of our strengths may also be one of our challenges. We are a diverse city and therefore need to exercise empathy and love for others values. We are a city reconciling and need to have patience and understanding for each other.

Z

 

Gibb

Answer

One positive step for business growth in Lethbridge was the recent TRIP decision for business owners downtown. I support measures like this, and believe they should be extended city wide. We do a great job attracting large business ventures to our city but I feel that we need to better serve our small businesses to ensure that they have fair economic opportunities to succeed in our city. We need to encourage small business growth in our city, as they are what make us a unique and diverse place for commerce, and to attract further immigration and tourism opportunities.

B

 

Ginther

Answer

The opportunities are limitless as it depends on the type of business seeking to establish themselves in our community. I think at this particular time the biggest challenge would be the availability of suitable land on which to build, especially if it's a factory/manufacturing type business. I feel that the City has been very good to work with and is more than willing to entertain more business opportunities.

M

 

Heavy Head

Answer

The forthcoming legalization of cannabis for recreational use is a great opportunity for business development in Lethbridge. Legitimizing legal growers for medical cannabis is an avenue the city can look forward to. The community supports businesses like "BOB's Headquarters" and having dispensaries move in along with shops that offer "baked goods" can be something that the public can become more comfortable with. The world is changing, and the forthcoming legalization of cannabis is merely decriminalizing the use of a substance many People already healthily partake in. A challenge is not jumping on that opportunity before competitors build that infrastructure in their cities before we do.

R

 

Hoffarth

Answer

Our workforce is able to offer employers an educated, creative and talented workforce that is prepared and able to move our businesses into the future and to connect our goods and services with the rest of the world. We can offer a healthy and attractive environment for both business and people so that they can live and work. Our greenspaces coupled to our ability to connect with other economies can be the basis for new and growing opportunities. An on-going challenge is to establish and maintain low tax rates and provide services without creating barriers to competition for consumers, or with private enterprises to innovate services that citizens want and creates employment and wealth.

B

 

Hyggen

Answer

As an entrepreneur, I have been extremely grateful over the years to own and operate various business. There are many great opportunities but I would like to focus of one of the main challenge I have faced. This challenge is the property tax rates in the community for businesses. The property tax rates for businesses are extremely high. Although my business will continue to offer good value for the services we provide, it makes it difficult to be profitable with the current property tax rates. As a business voice on council, I will continue to advocate to reduce these rates.

L

 

Iwaskiw

Answer

The Lethbridge lifestyle (medium size city with a small town feel) is our greatest strength. Along with our educated workforce, which comes from having both a college and a university, and our solid infrastructure, we were able to attract the biggest investment Lethbridge has ever seen in the Cavendish project. As we exceed 100,000 people in the near future I think businesses who adapt to the demands of the larger city while retaining the personal touch will thrive.

R

 

Janzen

Answer

Candidate declined to answer the question.

K

 

Layton

Answer

Candidate declined to answer the question.

S

 

MacLeod

Answer

Given Lethbridge’s proximity to Calgary and the USA boarder people tend to shop outside of Lethbridge, this is the challenge for our small business owners. The opportunity is when visitors come to Lethbridge for good and services our local businesses benefit. Visitors eat, socialize, and stay over night, this is a direct boost to the Lethbridge economy.

J

 

Mauro

Answer

 One of the challenges is that with increasing development comes growth expenses;  infrastructure,  protective services, public transit, pedestrians, cyclists and all types of mobility issues faced by many in our community.  Costs to maintain green spaces, recreation and culture facilities required for the betterment of our community, all add financial pressures. The steady increase of offsite levy's is a challenge in maintaining affordable growth. However, as we grow, we become an attraction for growth in services needed, retail growth as well as hotels, motels, restaurants and the house building industry. To sustain that growth, we need to lobby other levels of government.

D

 

Mikuliak

Answer

Opportunity: Attract major investment in Agriculture, Food Processing and Technologies. Promote business diversity that makes the community less prone to economic recession. Develop the Airport further with an emphasis on commercial use - if this happens, expansion of personal travel elements will likely follow. A Challenge: losing large businesses to the County due to straight up comparative competition. The greatest opportunity may well exist in our population exceeding the 100,000 mark. Statistically, this often means an expansion in demand for services, which, in term leads to more building/business opportunities and further attraction of population to those jobs.

R

 

Miyashiro

Answer

- Cavendish Farms expanding operations in Lethbridge will attract other business as large projects of this type put the spotlight on Lethbridge. - Achieving Intelligent Community status will attract business. - Maintaining a positive climate for business will attract new business and keep business in Lethbridge. - Greatest challenge for business is to ensure the City and other levels of government are responsive to their needs. The City should have a positive relationship with the business community and be able to advocate for that community with other levels of government.

R

 

Morrell

Answer

As a business owner, I know that it is difficult to hire appropriately educated or trained people and be able to pay them what they are necessarily worth.  Our economy is not such that people can be paid a living wage here that is in line with the ever rising housing market and overall cost of living.  However, Lethbridge is the hub and heart of Southern Alberta.  There are many outlying communities that come here to work and do business.  We need to ensure that we are competitive enough to bring in business without seeming unrealistic in our costs for services

N

 

Paladino

Answer

As far as opportunities, we have lots of agricultural producers in our region with access to water, moderate temperature and the US market. Agri-related businesses would do well here. A major challenge is the level of service at the airport. The lack of a decent trade & convention centre is also a challenge.

R

 

Parker

Answer

The greatest opportunities are a diverse economy, two post secondary institutions, and a diverse labour force within the community. The greatest challenges are the cost of labour, and uncertainty with policy changes within the provincial and federal governments on business.

H

 

PEREVERSEFF

Answer

Our greatest opportunity for Lethbridge in business is our excellent geographic location. We are situated on rail transmission lines and our north south - east west highways are excellent for transportation of goods and services into and out of our City. Seated in the heart of an agricultural regions lends to an excellent opportunity for processing and manufacturing of agricultural goods and products. Our post secondary institutions offer excellent opportunity for education. Challenges are resultant of high taxation, land use bylaws, "current" City dominance in interfering in private business operations. Practically, "non-existent" air port service for commercial and residents.

J

 

Pogorzelski

Answer

We are almost at 100,000 people, and with the new investment from Cavendish farms we should an increase in consumer spending. We also have a very beautiful landscape, and some great events in Lethbridge. We need to focus on our tourism by strategically marketing ourselves in places like Montana and Saskatchewan. Our biggest challenge is holding on to our student population.

L

 

Saloff

Answer

Permits, land, zoning, skilled workforce and supply and demand.

J

 

Shackleford

Answer

1. Diversifying the downtown economy. 2. Encourage all people that small business is the life blood of our community and we should support them. 3. Help new immigrants to our community to start new businesses if they have a plan or dream to do so.

C

 

Spearman

Answer

The greatest opportunities are our steadily increasing population, our diversified economy and our growing reputation as a great city for investment. Our challenges are that we are underperforming in some key areas like tourism, sustaining high quality restaurants and attraction of a 5 star hotel.

J

 

Takahashi

Answer

It can be very difficult for our small businesses to compete with corporations and big box stores. There are a multitude of issues that lead folks to shop on the edge of town as opposed to the heart of our city. But the support our small business owners show for each other, the level of service and community involvement, and the stellar services and products they provide are unmatched. We owe them the growth, development, and work needed to encourage a more local shopping mindset.

B

 

Thurber

Answer

Opportunities: - access to markets, proximity to markets, our transportation network - our skilled labour market - our innovation our passion Challenges: - recovery through a difficult recession - uncertain taxes going forward

S

 

Watson

Answer

For the sake of honesty, I feel I do not have the background or knowledge base to be able to form a comprehensive position on this issue at this time. If elected, I plan to conduct extensive literature review on the projects, options and opportunities brought before council and would also be looking for information from those whose professions are in this area.

D

 

Wiggers

Answer

For many years Lethbridge focused solely on its agricultural base. Although the City has come a long way in diversifying its economy, it is still largely an agricultural community. Only through diversity in business can Lethbridge attract new types of industry and perhaps retain some of the many undergraduate students we see leaving our fair City post convocation.

R

 

Woss

Answer

Greatest opportunity lies in the field of renewable energy. With our natural & abundant resources of sun and wind, we can be part of the solution of curbing climate change & diversifying our economy - providing opportunities to new business & securing the future for our people with apprenticeship training & jobs. Greatest challenges will relate to increasing droughts & water scarcity.