How it's done
The business climate is the general economic environment that local businesses operate in. Reviewing and understanding the local business climate provides valuable insights about the economy, costs, risks, and incentives that may impact the success of your business. This activity will guide you to better understand the business climate in Penticton and help you answer the following fundamental questions.
What is the business climate in Penticton?
We have compiled the most important aspects of Penticton’s business climate as an interactive dashboard below. This dashboard provides valuable economic, resident, household, dwelling and development indicators that may influence the success of your business.
Resident Indicator Population Growth Chart
What costs and assistance should I know about?
Whether you have a new or existing business it is critical to be aware of costs, incentives and grants that impact your business. This dashboard provides you with a snapshot of the major costs of conducting business in Penticton and assistance available to Penticton businesses.
Property owners in the City of Penticton pay property taxes that help pay for city services such as recreation facilities, parks and trails, utilities, city streets and storm drain systems. Some property taxes are based on the provincial assessed values, while other taxes are a flat or pro-rated amount for each parcel or fixture. Commercial properties within the designated Downtown district see a levy on their taxes that goes towards the Downtown Penticton Association, which is a Business Improvement Association.
What is the tax rate? When the annual budget is adopted by Council for the current year, Council passes a bylaw. This bylaw sets a levy rate for every taxable parcel of land, as defined on the BC Assessment Roll. This levy must be sufficient to raise revenue to pay all debts and obligations of the City falling due within the year. This rate, called a multiplier, applies to each $1,000 of net taxable value by property class. This rate is referred to as the General Tax Levy. The City of Penticton is not the only authority that taxes properties in the City. Five other taxing authorities derive a portion of their annual revenue from the property base:
- Regional Hospital District
- Regional District Okanagan Similkameen
- BC Assessment (BCA)
- Municipal Finance Authority (MFA)
- School District #67
The City of Penticton has little or no control over other taxing authorities’ levies nor the way they are distributed to properties in the City. However, to reduce the administrative cost of billing and collecting these other property taxes, the City of Penticton is the designated collector and includes these levies on the tax bill sent to property owners each year.
The City of Penticton prides itself on having one of the lowest tax multipliers for business in B.C. This has been a strong contributing factor in making Penticton one of the most entrepreneurial cities in Canada, as identified by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s 2015 & 2016 national rankings. See how our multiplier stacks up against other communities and the number promoted by CFIB as a reasonable, competitive rate.
Our 2018 property tax rates can be found here.
The City of Penticton is dedicated to assisting you navigate through the planning, licensing and permitting process with ease and expediency.
Planning & Development
Planning is the lead department for all land development applications including Subdivisions, Bare-land Strata Subdivisions, Strata, Rezoning, Development Permits, Development Variance Permits, Temporary Use Permits and Agriculture Land Reserve applications, to name a few. The Planning Department also conducts studies and develops ordinances to govern land use, and engages in long-range land use planning based on growth projections.
We would love to hear from you. A pre-application meeting is helpful in your planning process. We can answer your questions regarding building, engineering and planning before an official application is made. Once you submit an application, our Technical Planning Committee conducts a review of your formal application. The Planning Department can be contacted by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.
Statistics & Reports
Monthly reports are issued by the Planning Department and can be viewed here.
Building & Construction
The Building Department provides general information on and reviews building plans, specifications and associated documents (engineers' reports, truss plans, surveys etc.) to confirm compliance with the BC Building Code, Building Bylaw No. 94-45 and other applicable standards. We issue building permits, and collect applicable securities and Development Cost Charges.
Property File Requests
The Building Department also looks after Property File Requests, which can be useful when purchasing a property or planning a renovation.
The City of Penticton provides access to property records and information related to properties while ensuring that the privacy of property owners is protected. There is no guarantee that the City will have plans or records on file for all properties. A $25 charge is applied to all property file requests to mitigate admin and staff costs in retrieving the information.
For further information about requesting access to a Property file, please visit here.
Statistics & Reports
Monthly reports are issued by the Building Department and can be viewed here.
We’re here to help:
Our Economic Development Department has its finger on the pulse of the business community. Whether you’re investigating opportunities in Penticton and need high level info, or your business is here and ready to grow or change direction, we’re here to get you connected and pointed in the right direction.
Looking to build or develop? Come in and meet directly with our key Planning and Building staff will attend pre-application meetings and help to direct you to resources as well as to flag any issues or unconventional barriers before they arise.
Development Cost Charge Reductions:
In some cases, your project may be eligible for DCC reductions. The City of Penticton has identified certain types of development and practices that are considered priorities.
Projects that meet the Affordable Housing criteria and are partnered with BC Housing are eligible for a waiving of 100% of Development Cost Charges and the application process will be handled by BC Housing
We want to reward you for making sustainable choices in your development projects. Projects who can successfully achieve a score of 40 or higher on the Sustainability Checklist can have 50% of their DCC’s waived.
The DCC Reduction Bylaw is here.
Early Pay Utilities Discount:
A 10% discount will be applied to current charges (excluding taxes) providing payment is received by the City on or before the due date shown on the utility bill.
Other great features about Penticton:
Penticton airport flies multiple times daily to Calgary & Vancouver. Just a 50min flight and you’re there!
Penticton Regional Hospital provides 24 hour emergency and trauma services, acute services, ambulatory and outpatient clinics, and diagnostic/paramedical services. The $312million investment in the new patient care tower will greatly increase it’s capacity, provide a home for the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and further drive Penticton’ key role as the hub for the South Okanagan, Similkameen Valley & Boundary Country.
Our fast, stable internet with Telus PureFibre 250/250mbs and Shaw Cable 150/150mbs (fibre services optional) provide some of the fastest and most stable upload and download speeds in Canada. Work here and connect with the world at lightning speed.
2,000 hours of sunshine every year, a mild dry winter and great outdoor opportunities makes Penticton a 4 season playground. A great lifestyle for you and your employees.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business rated Penticton in the top 5 most entrepreneurial cities in Canada in its 2015 and 2016 ranking reports (more recent reports have not been released).
We're listening & planning for the future. Our community engagement portal ensures that we're speaking directly with our residents on all important topics. The City of Penticton is refreshing the Official Community Plan and investing in studies to better understand what our population growth projects are and what we'll need to support it. Access this research and seize opportunities to meet market demand as it evolves.
A variety of financing opportunities are available to BC businesses. Use the links below to see if you or your business qualifies for financial support:
British Columbia’s Indigenous Small Business Resources - Discover national and provincial sources of financing and loans for Indigenous enterprises.
Futurpreneur - Find expertise, financing, mentoring and business resources for young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39.
Western Economic Diversification Canada - Discover loans for entrepreneurs in western Canada organized by the Western Canada Business Service Network.
Community Futures Business Loans - Find out about loans for entrepreneurs in program locations to start and expand a business.
Women’s Enterprise Centre Loans Program - Find out about loans for women-owned businesses, as well as professional business advice and support.
Canada Business Network - If you are looking for money for your business, you should start by learning about the different types of financing that are available.
Business Development Bank of Canada - Access expert advisory services, financing, and a host of educational resources and economic data.
Grants may be difficult to find, but have the advantage of being ”free money” that you don’t need to pay back.
If you are a non-profit technology company in B.C. employing less than 99 employees and hiring for a tech role, check out the BC Innovation Council’s Funding Sources page.
The Canada Business database offers a good source of information on grants.
The City of Penticton is responsible for providing a broad range of services and amenities to its residents, from sewer, water and roads, to waste and snow removal, to cultural, and recreational spaces. Unique to our community is the fact that Penticton owns the Electrical Utility that provides electricity to nearly 20,000 residential, commercial and industrial accounts.
The City of Penticton has invested in the maintenance and growth needs of our community with several key projects worthy of note:
South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC):
Built in 2008, the $56-million facility seats over 5,000 guests in a state-of-the-art building that is home to the Penticton Vees hockey team and also welcomes entertainment events from all around the world. The SOEC is a core component of a 16 acres community campus that houses the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, the Community Centre, Cleland Community Theatre, Curling Rink, Memorial Arena, Okanagan Hockey School, and most recently the Wine Information Centre and Cascades Casino. View Image Here.
Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence – Okanagan College:
Completed in 2011, the $43million Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technology and Renewable Energy Conservation at Okanagan College in Penticton is one of the world's greenest buildings, and the most sustainable post-secondary building in Canada. Featuring extensive use of wood products and advanced wood technologies—such as innovative composite floors and walls—the centre met LEED Platinum standards and the Living Building Challenge, a program to build the most sustainable buildings possible using today's design and construction technologies. The building plays host to signature Okanagan College courses such as the Sustainable Construction Management Technology, Human Kinetics, Viticulture and the recently constructed $300,000 Wine Sensory Lab.
Main Street Downtown, Water Main Upgrade and Street revitalization:
A critical upgrade to underground water services was required in the downtown section of Main St. Following on from design visioning sessions held in 2010, a private public partnership was struck with property owners along the construction corridor to add in sidewalk widening and street beautification to the project. To date, three blocks (100-300) have been completed as well as an earlier upgrade to 200 block of Martin St. Total investment has been more than $7million. View Image Here.
Penticton Regional Hospital:
Providing healthcare to the South Okanagan, Similkameen & Boundary region, PRH is undergoing a $312 million upgrade. Phase 1 (due to be completed in early 2019) is the construction of a Patient Care Tower, a six-storey, 26,155 square metres (281,530 sq. ft.) providing 84 patient rooms, ample parking, a rooftop helipad and multiple new surgical rooms.
YYF provides multiple direct daily flights to Calgary and Vancouver provided by Air Canada and WestJet. Nearly 400 seats fly into Penticton each day. The airport is undergoing a $6-million upgrade to improve the terminal experience and logistics.
How do I use this information?
Having access to business climate statistics and information is one thing, but it's quite another to use data effectively and in a way that will benefit your business. This next section will help you do just that. Learn how to use this information to make better business decisions.
Monitor the local business climate
On-going assessment of the business climate is an essential part of operating a competitive business. In any business climate, there are numerous factors outside your control that will impact your business, both positively and negatively. The health of the economy impacts all businesses, but small businesses usually feel the effect of economic changes faster than big businesses. Improvements in the economy typically provide a rapid increase in new opportunities for small businesses, while an economic downturn can have a significant and prolonged negative impact.
Unfortunately, you can’t influence the economy, but you can monitor the business climate indicators provided above and then take the necessary actions to minimize risks to your business. Staying up to date with the business climate can also help you identify new opportunities that your business can take advantage of.
Know your costs
All industries are unique and incur different types of costs when starting or operating. Understanding these costs is essential when it comes to setting prices, budgeting and planning for growth or downturns. We’ve provided some of the local costs associated with taxes, development and labour that often get overlooked by businesses. There may be other municipal and provincial costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.
Where can I learn more about the business climate?
While we are providing you with a range of valuable information about the business climate, the fact is that there's much more available. In this section we provide you with links to other websites that will supplement our information and help to keep your finger on the pulse.
There may also be other municipal and provincial costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.
British Columbia Ministry of Finance