Land to Grow
Land of Enterprise
There are no ‘flashy’ buildings, tall towers, suits, or cubicles of commercial life in the Region. What you will find is special: nose to the grindstone salt of the earth folks whose water cooler is a chat through the window of the pick-up truck. The human heartbeat is community values, family, and freedom. The economic heartbeat is born of climate and geography: a wind to be harnessed; a land to be cultivated; an Albertan’s Alberta so big, rugged, and vast, many find solace in our spaces and places. Enterprising spirits appreciate that within a two hour radius one can find a big city, a small city, a beautiful lake, and mountains. Urbanity is a great convenience…but far enough away.
As a region, Alberta SouthWest has a population of 35,000, records roughly $40 million in annual municipal construction value, and has $1.6 billion in recently completed or planned municipal/private sector capital construction projects – largely fuelled by a rapidly expanding wind energy industry.
Alberta SouthWest’s competitive advantage lies in its land resource, cost (business/cost of living), and access to markets:
Access to Markets
- 1-2 hour proximity to Calgary Region (1.3 million people)
- Two major trade corridors: Highway 2 CANAMEX trade corridor extending from Alberta to Mexico; and Highway 3 connecting Vancouver through Alberta to Medicine Hat.
Land Resource Opportunities
- Alberta SouthWest has a diverse agricultural sector focused on cattle, grain crops, and horses – with opportunity to specialize, diversify, and process. 5% of Alberta’s farm receipts (2006).
- Alberta SouthWest is Canada’s wind energy capital. There are currently $1.2 billion in wind energy planned or proposed wind energy projects that will generate support and servicing opportunities.
- Prairie so vast and flat that “nothingness” before a big sky sunset changes you. Mountain environments that see few people and enable recreational imagination. A diverse and visible heritage from coal to First Nations. A National Park. A UNESCO world heritage site. A movie film location. The tourism industry is growing and has breadth including culture, recreation, outdoor adventure, and all season destinations. Tourism infrastructure, service and operator opportunities are present.
- Economic base is stable.
Low Business Costs
- Lower than provincial average labour costs
- Small business owners pay lower taxes (total of personal and business income tax, sales tax, gas tax, health premiums) in Alberta than they would in any other province
- Average house price 58% lower than the Alberta average
- Municipal property taxes roughly 25% lower than Calgary Region
- Lower taxes than Calgary Region for comparable enterprise operating space. Municipal commercial taxes - roughly $1500/$100,000 of assessment with much lower assessment values than Calgary Region.
"Made in Alberta SouthWest" Quality of Life
People are attracted to certain areas by key quality of life features that distinguish one place from another.
What distinguishes Alberta SouthWest is big outdoor spaces to get lost in…or “find yourself” in. The spirit of people is lifted by the great outdoors and all its possibilities. Dirt on your boots means a good time was had. Being stared at by a large ungulate is empowering. Hiking is a solitude that is soulful. It is the life of waiting out the rain under mountain trees, the perfect fly fishing cast, a horse under foot, or feeling the presence of the past in culture that continues to create legacy. It is huge vistas and ever-changing skies. It is comfort in the quiet, and an appreciation for land.
Then there are the conveniences of small town life. Quality of life in Alberta SouthWest is shaped by the usual suspects in most smaller rural communities: a full range of recreation, health, education, and cultural amenities, close knit communities with relaxed lifestyle, and personal sense of safety and security. Life in Alberta’s small communities is at its best in the coffee shop, the ice rink, and conversations with next door neighbours – “easy” interaction with people that feels like extended family.
It's a fact...we are not the “big city” with its urban rush, tremendous variety, 24/7 possibilities and the availability of every imaginable product or service. But for those passionate about this region, its because of what we do offer....a distinctive lifestyle and rhythm that can only be found in Alberta SouthWest.