Alberta continues to dominate the annual rankings of Canada’s best places to start and grow a business, holding eight of the top 10 spots among municipalities in the recent 2014 Entrepreneurial Communities report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB),

“It’s great to see so many of Alberta’s cities land in the top 10,” says Richard Truscott, Alberta director for CFIB. “As a relative measure, these cities continue to be good places to own and operate a business.”

The annual study assesses the degree to which municipalities have enabled entrepreneurs and small businesses to start, grow and prosper. The report looks at the entrepreneurial environment in 122 cities across Canada according to indicators drawn from Statistics Canada sources and survey research conducted with CFIB members.

The 2014 study covers 14 indicators grouped into three areas: presence, perspective and policy. Presence covers the scale and growth of business ownership, perspective measures optimism and growth plans, and policy represents the actions local governments take with respect to business taxation and regulation. Scores in those three categories are combined to provide an overall score and ranking.

The study separates Canada’s largest cities, including Calgary and Edmonton, from surrounding municipal areas.

2014 rankings:

  1. Lloydminster
  2. Calgary periphery, (combined municipalities of Airdrie, Rocky View, Cochrane and Chestermere)
  3. Edmonton periphery (combined municipalities of Strathcona County, St. Albert, Parkland, Spruce Grove, Leduc and several smaller municipalities)
  4. Fort McMurray
  5. Camrose
  6. Grande Prairie
  7. Brooks
  8. Red Deer
  9. Saskatoon
  10. Collingwood, Ont.

The 2014 ranking for the rest of the 13 Alberta cities on the list: Medicine Hat (14), Edmonton (17), Lethbridge (24), Calgary (29) and Okotoks (36).

“Even though many Alberta cities perform relatively well in this ranking, mayors and councils still have lots of work to do to cut red tape and make property taxes fairer for small business,” adds Truscott. “They must not become complacent.”