Skip to main content

When Barclay Krause travels to construction sites from his office in Regina, it rarely takes longer than 20 minutes.

That has all sorts of benefits for his company, Peregrine Landscape Construction. He saves on labour costs and wear and tear on vehicles. And he gets home that much sooner after a busy day.

And although the fast-growing city has a population of about 250,000, he isn’t faced with some of the big-city expenses seen in many other urban centres. That helps make doing business in Regina ideal for Mr. Krause, and a recent report shows he has good reason to feel that way.

Regina was ranked the most livable city in Canada for entrepreneurs, and the fourth most livable city in the country over all in a comprehensive analysis by The Globe and Mail, in partnership with Environics Analytics Group Ltd.

The Globe ranked 439 communities across the country, using categories such as transportation, housing, climate and amenities. It calculated scores by using specific variables within each category.

In ranking cities specifically for entrepreneurship, it placed an emphasis on three key categories: economy, transportation and demographics. It also looked at other variables such as taxes. Essentially, the rankings measured the opportunity for someone to build a business.

The data showed clear benefits to Regina for business owners. It ranked highly for demographics, which took into account its recent population growth and projections for the city to grow even further, as well as the city’s diversity. Regina posted fairly good numbers when it came to the financial health of its residents, as well as average incomes, which stretch further considering the low cost of living. It also scored in the top 50 across the country for transportation.

Randi Seitz, who runs a small business called Bodacious Blinds, says the benefits of doing business in Regina go beyond what the survey measured.

She says there has always been a strong push to support local businesses – one that residents have embraced.

“It’s always been that way and COVID put more pressure on it,” Ms. Seitz said. “It’s a close-knit community so things can catch on really fast.”

Even as inflation and higher interest rates squeeze Canadians, she says her business of five years hasn’t seen any signs of slowing down lately. Maybe it’s to do with the low cost of living, but she says there’s a sense that things in the province are doing reasonably well and that the community is willing to spend.

The low cost of living doesn’t just benefit consumers. Mr. Krause says it also results in lower expenses that make his business more viable.

“That’s a big part of entrepreneurship,” Mr. Krause said. “You start to add all the costs up and you can end in a death by a thousand paper-cuts situation, just because there are so many potential expenses for a business.”

Are you a young Canadian with money on your mind? To set yourself up for success and steer clear of costly mistakes, listen to our award-winning Stress Test podcast.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe