If you’re in the economic development business, or in the City council business, or the university business or even the business of business, getting a bad review in one of those magazine “Best of” or “Top 100” lists is a nightmare.
There have been a few nightmares for Kamloops in that regard. There’s the Maclean’s magazine list of the most dangerous cities, for example — we ranked 13th out of a hundred in one of those, which required some denials by City spokespeople as to the validity of the methodology.
When we dropped to 20th it was considered progress. But it hasn’t been all bad, not at all. A few months ago, MoneySense magazine rated Kamloops 44th out of 190 Canadian cities for livability.
And then, KPMG ranked Kamloops as the top B.C. city for overall competitiveness for doing business in.
That was considered a bit of a coup. “This is … an international report,” Dan Sulz of Venture Kamloops said at the time. “It’s very important that Kamloops fared above the other communities in B.C. as we try to promote ourselves internationally.
“When I talk to international investors, they ask me how we fared on the KPMG report.”
Now, a third source has acknowledged Kamloops as one of the best. Actually, the very best place for business in B.C., and among the top three in Western Canada. This time it’s Alberta Venture magazine.
“We look at hard indicators like business tax, median income and average lease rate. But there’s also a lot of softer stuff, like a community that’s close to the mountains and has got some great swimming,” said Alberta Venture editor Michael Ganley.
So, that’s three in a row. Some people wonder about the value of such surveys — they’re based on a bunch of statistics and it’s not as though we get cash prizes from them, they say.
True, but being able to point to our city as one that is consistently ranked high as a great place to do business and that is also a fine place to live is like gold to an economic developer and anyone else trying to promote Kamloops as a community.
So, while we might hit the odd clunker like that Maclean’s poll and have to tough our way through it when we do, surveys such as the one just released by Alberta Venture are a big thing.
And right now, we’re on a roll.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.