Sudbury has been ranked as the most entrepreneurial city in Ontario by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), followed by Sault Ste. Marie in second place.
The federation's 5th annual Communities in Boom identified 103 large and mid-size cities in Canada that have the strongest signs of entrepreneurial activity.
Overall, Sudbury ranked 16th in the country followed by Sault Ste. Marie 23rd, Timmins 39th, Thunder Bay 62nd, and North Bay (101).
Provincially, Timmins was 5th, Thunder Bay 10th, and North Bay 31st. A total of 33 Ontario cities were identified.
Sudbury, the Soo and Timmins all improved their rankings from the previous year, while Thunder Bay and North Bay went down.
According to the study, the CFIB stated that one of the signs of an entrepreneurial hot spot is the presence of a high concentration of entrepreneurs and a high businesses start-up rate.
For cities with populations of 25,000 or more, the federation identified 14 indicators that are grouped into three main categories – presence, perspective and policy.
Sudbury had one of the highest perspective category scores, which looked at business owners who were the most upbeat.
“With Sudbury, we are in a very nice position provincially and federally in terms of our economy,” said Debbi Nicholson, president and CEO of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. “In the past few years and for the next few years, we have and will have a robust economy. There is a lot of investment going on in this community. I would think anyone interested in starting a business would think now is a very good time to be doing that.”
Sault Ste. Marie respondents gave a high score to government awareness of small business.
“We know our community has competitive advantages and quality of life that are tough to match, but it’s always nice and reassuring when these positions are backed up by a third party,” said Don Mitchell, president and board chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corp. “As reflected in the survey, business support programs and economic development efforts of the past are paying dividends today.”
Timmins had a high ranking for life satisfaction and to stronger business expectations in the next 12 months.
“These rankings show that this city creates and attracts some of the most innovative and dedicated business minds in the world,” said Art Pultz, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce. “Our membership is made up of some truly remarkable entrepreneurs, many of which have seen steady growth in recent months and years. It’s a testament to the unique qualities of our people and our city that Timmins is being recognized as one of the nation’s most vibrant business communities.”