If you’re new to Calgary or are looking into the city as a place to do business, Calgary is a wonderful location for the budding entrepreneur and the experienced businessman as well. So before you decide to put down roots or set up shop, here are a few facts about the city to hopefully lure you and your business here.
Location, location, location
Whether you are setting up a brick and mortar location or a home based business there are some things to consider. If you are setting up a home based business you will need to get a Home Occupation permit. Commercial locations also must meet land use approvals but working with a local realtor can help make sure you lease the right premises for the type of work you are doing.
Licenses and Permits
The nature of your business will determine will determine what type of licensing you will need. In some cases all you will need is a Business Identification Number which is cheaper for you. However, restaurants, transportation and nightclubs may also require inspections from other government agencies. BizPal, run by Industry Canada is a good tool to find out what licenses or permits you will need.
Calgary has no natural barriers that stop growth so it is extremely spread out. It does have a great public transportation system consisting of bus service and light rail or the C-Train. If you are doing business in the downtown core, parking spaces are few and far between, not only that parking is expensive! Public transportation is the most economic way of getting downtown on a daily basis. Train service is reliable and runs often, C-Trains run into all quadrants of the city.
Housing & Accomodations
For the business traveler coming into Calgary there are options ranging from 5-star to the more budget friendly, bear in mind though Calgary can be an expensive city and hotel prices will reflect that.
For those looking for more permanent accommodations, housing prices have bounced around a bit in recent years. These are average housing prices in the city now, for a detached home you’re looking at around $480K and condo price are a little better at around $300k.
Food and Entertainment
Calgary is a world class city and the collection of restaurants reflects that. Alberta beef is known the world over so at some point you’re going to want to try a steak. There is every type of cuisine available in every price range so indulge and enjoy yourself.
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this is paradise for the outdoorsmen, there is skiing throughout the winter and plenty of hiking and camping to do in the summer. For the sports fan, Calgary is home to two professional sports teams the Flames and the Stampeders, Calgarians are huge fans but you can still grab tickets. Most notably though is the world famous Stampede, huge rodeo with nightly parties along with 200, 000 visitors descending on the city.
This is Canada so expect cold and long winters, temperatures can and will dip below -20 for at least a couple of days every winter and most of the winter temps stay below zero. Chinooks, warm winds off the mountains bring in welcome breaks from the cold and bring warmer temperatures for a few days. Summers are usually warm and dry, you won’t have the heat and humidity you will find in other Canadian cities in the summer.
Wrapping it all up
Calgary is a thriving and vibrant city with a welcoming business community. Come and stay for a few days and enjoy the hospitality, you will find great opportunities here.