ECONOMIC UPDATE: Information available on Nanaimo business climate

NANAIMO – Quarterly Economic Update details the most current and accurate information available about Nanaimo and region

By Sasha Angus

Every three months the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation releases its Quarterly Economic Update, detailing the most current and accurate information available about the Nanaimo and region business climate. While you may think that macro-economic data is only applicable to large-scale businesses, small- and medium-sized enterprises can use these figures to inform and improve business efforts.

The reported indicators include employment, real estate, construction, development, business license information and tourism statistics. Here are three ways you can use this information to guide your efforts.

Use construction, building permits and real estate for recruitment and business opportunities.

Bringing new skilled employees into the Nanaimo Region is crucial for many businesses, and economic statistics can be hugely valuable in your attraction efforts. For example, real estate costs in the region are significantly more affordable than our neighbouring communities of Victoria and Vancouver. For any potential hires willing to relocate to Nanaimo, cost of housing can be a great selling feature.

Every new commercial building or residence constructed brings a mountain of opportunity. Knowing the state of new building permits and construction projects can give your business the competitive edge, allowing you to identify new business opportunities first.

Business licences can be used to monitor competition and find partnership opportunities.

If you operate a small- or medium-sized business, it’s important that you find out exactly who your competition is on a fairly regular basis as new businesses open all the time. This will help you monitor regional trends in your industry and give you the insight needed to differentiate your business in the marketplace.

In addition to competition, new businesses in the community can also be viewed as potential partners to drive new customers, source materials, or share in marketing efforts. The Nanaimo and region business community contains examples of excellent business-to-business partnerships and staying informed about new opportunities is a great way to become such an example.

Tourism indicators and passenger volumes show potential new customers.

Whether you consider yours a ‘tourism’ business, it’s likely that your business is in some way affected by trends in the tourism industry. The quarterly report examines airport passenger volumes, B.C. Ferries traffic and general tourism statistics including occupancy and room revenue, and traffic to the regional Tourism Info Centres.

To view the report, please visit

Sasha Angus is CEO of Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation.

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