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 Edmonton and help you answer the following fundamental questions.
What is the business climate in Edmonton?
We have compiled the most important aspects of Edmonton’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.
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 Edmonton and assistance available to Edmonton businesses.
In comparison to other provinces, businesses in Edmonton benefit from an Alberta advantage when it comes to corporate income taxes. Specific benefits include no provincial sales tax, no payroll tax, no health care premiums, lower personal income tax rates and the lowest fuel tax of any province in the country. Alberta continues to be a great place to do business thanks to its infrastructure, strong urban growth centers, increasingly diverse economy, growing population and lucrative investment opportunities.
Effective July 1, 2019 the general Alberta corporate income tax rate is 11 percent. The Alberta small business income tax rate is 2 percent for eligible small businesses with income up to $500,000.
The combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate in Edmonton is 26 percent for general businesses, 13 percent for small businesses, and a competitive corporate income tax rate is in place for manufacturers. Businesses in Edmonton also benefit from the fact that Alberta has no inventory tax, no machinery and equipment tax and no payroll tax, which are common in many other provinces and U.S. states.
Edmonton is committed to fostering a strong and diverse workforce that capitalizes its inherent strengths of the region. It boasts competitive location-sensitive costs for standardized commercial and industrial operations.
Edmonton benefits from more modest labour rates in many categories when compared to other major Alberta centres, and is even more competitive with other Canadian and U.S. cities.
Consider the Edmonton area’s advantage versus costs in other major centres:
- Vancouver: 1.1% higher than Edmonton
- Toronto: 3.2% higher than Edmonton
- New Orleans: 6.1% higher than Edmonton
- Denver: 7.9% higher than Edmonton
- Houston: 8.9% higher than Edmonton
A summary of the average hourly earnings for Edmonton is shown in the table below. Learn more
|Major Industry||Year||Average Hourly Wage|
|Forestry, logging, fishing, and hunting||2015||$29.52|
|Oil and gas extraction||2015||$40.34|
|Transportation and warehousing||2015||$27.77|
|Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing||2015||$27.90|
|Professional, scientific and technical services||2015||$36.08|
|Business, building and other support services||2015||$21.34|
|Health care and social assistance||2015||$28.70|
|Information, culture and recreation||2015||$18.93|
|Accommodation and food services||2015||$14.89|
Source: Alberta Wage and Salary Survey 2015
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta was created by government to administer the Workers Compensation Act for the province’s workers and employers. Funded by employers the WCB provides cost-effective disability and liability insurance for work related injury and illness. The WCB compensates workers for lost income and coordinates the health care and other services that may be required to recover from a work-related injury. Learn more
|Average Cost for All Manufacturing (per $100 Payroll)||(Per $100 of insurable earnings)||$0.24 - $2.94|
|Average Rate for Office Workers||(Per $100 of insurable earnings)||$0.13 - $0.25|
|Maximum Weekly Benefit||(90 % of maximum insurable earnings $98,700)||$1,225.61|
Source: WCB rates by sector and industry
The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is the governing federal body for all legislation related to employment insurance (EI) in Canada. Businesses must deduct employment insurance from an employee’s insurable earnings if that employee is in insurable employment during the year.
Insurable employment includes most employment in Canada under a contract of service (employer – employee relationship). There is no age limit for deducting EI premiums.
|Taxable Base||Annual maximum insurable earnings||$51,300.00|
|Rate %||Employer contribution rate||2.282%|
|Average Among Existing Employers||Annual maximum employer contribution||$1,170.67|
Source: Payworks Payroll Legislation
The leading employers in Edmonton come from a wide range of industries, with locations that are spread throughout the region. Increasing diversity and economic investment will continue to fuel expansion and the introduction of new employer based establishments. Edmonton, chosen for it’s strategic location, competitive business climate, available workforce and extensive logistical network is home to the headquarters of several large global firms as well as a substantial number of primary, secondary and tertiary organizations that drive Alberta’s energy sector.
The top 25 employers in Edmonton are listed in the table below:
|PCL Employees Holdings Ltd||Edmonton||Bank holding companies||16,380|
|Stantec Inc||Edmonton||Engineering services||15,200|
|Katz Group Inc||Edmonton||Drug stores and proprietary stores||8,000|
|Bee-Clean Building Maintenance Inc||Edmonton||Building maintenance services||7,000|
|Brick Ltd., The||Edmonton||Furniture stores||5,700|
|Alberta Treasury Branches||Edmonton||Savings and loan institutions||5,250|
|Jacobs Industrial Services||Edmonton||Building maintenance services||5,000|
|AutoCanada Inc||Edmonton||Bank holding companies||4,000|
|Brick Warehouse LP, The||Edmonton||Furniture stores||3,759|
|EPCOR Utilities Inc||Edmonton||Water supply||2,795|
|ColasCanada Inc||St. Albert||Bank holding companies||2,711|
|Lilydale Inc||Edmonton||Poultry and poultry products||2,700|
|Chemco Electrical Contractors Ltd||Nisku||Electrical work||2,500|
|S-I IPVF CANADA, INC||Edmonton||Paints, varnishes, and supplies||2,500|
|Servus Credit Union Ltd||Edmonton||State credit unions||2,400|
|Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd||Edmonton||Bank holding companies||2,250|
|North American Construction Group Inc||Edmonton||Heavy construction||2,200|
|Lockerbie & Hole Inc||Edmonton||Industrial buildings and warehouses||2,010|
|Cash Store Financial Services Inc, The||Edmonton||Personal credit institutions||2,000|
|B. Gingras Enterprises Ltd||Edmonton||Building maintenance services||2,000|
|Canadian Western Bank||Edmonton||National commercial banks||1,928|
|Fountain Tire Holdings Ltd||Edmonton||Auto and home supply stores||1,804|
|K-Bro Linen Inc||Edmonton||Industrial launderers||1,800|
|Flint Field Services Ltd||Sherwood Park||Oil and gas field services||1,750|
|Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited||Edmonton||Brick, stone, and related material||1,700|
Businesses in Edmonton benefit from:
No provincial sales tax
No payroll tax
No inventory tax
No machinery and equipment tax
No health care premiums
Free provincial health care insurance
Lower personal income tax rates
The lowest fuel tax among provinces
Small business income tax rate of just 2%
Corporate income tax rate of 12%