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Okotoks has grown significantly in all business sectors over the past few years and the Town of Okotoks remains proactive in marketing and seeking out opportunities for existing and prospective residents.

 

Why do Business in Okotoks?

Located just 15 minutes south of Calgary, Okotoks boasts strong residential, industrial and commercial sectors. The majority of businesses are exempt from tax, allowing for an affordable, sustainable, competitive commercial environment. In fact, our non-residential tax rates are among the lowest in the Calgary area. That’s just one reason to do business in Okotoks. Others include:

  • Significant Population Growth: The population of ~27,300 is expected to swell to ~80,000 in the next decades thanks to the current annexation in process.
  • Service Area: Okotoks services the Foothills region, drawing in people from as close as Calgary and as far as southeastern BC. The trade area is over a quarter million people strong.
  • Location: Ideally situated close to urban centres, transportation corridors, and the US border, commercial and industrial businesses thrive with superior access to clients and suppliers. We are the largest trading centre between Lethbridge and Calgary.
  • Ambience: Why escape to the mountains when you can work with them in plain view? Go to work every day with majestic mountains and rolling hills as your back drop, and the beautiful Sheep River Valley flowing through the heart of the community.
  • Room to Grow: Commercial and real estate land abounds, and that’s a good thing because we grew over 40% between 2006 – 2011. With 75% of the residents under 45, the young, energetic town of Okotoks is poised to keep growing its skilled, workforce-ready population.
  • Work/Life Quality: A recent survey showed a whopping 98% of residents rated the quality of life as high or very high.

 

Okotoks’ Future Economic Plan and Vision

With historic “Olde Towne Okotoks” downtown and a progression of new business in all sectors, Okotoks is fortunate to have thriving, modern businesses alongside boutique services and shopping. It is our vision and plan to ensure Okotoks remains a great place to do business while creating an even more prosperous, economic future. This will be achieved by:

  • Economic Development: Job creation and retention, tourism, quality of life, and sustainable growth of the community
  • Economic Development Vision:
    • Expand our assessment base from ~12.6% (2014) to the provincial average of 22% via build out (economic growth)
    • Commercial build out is targeted to reach the anticipated percentage in 2020
    • Industrial build out is targeted to reach the anticipated percentage in 2030 
  • Commercial Vision: Olde Towne will retain its charm and standing as the heart and soul of our community while land use bylaw will continue to integrate, promote and assist new businesses. Recreation, culture, entertainment, professional services, hospitality and tourist-related retail will encourage residents and business owners to become established in Okotoks. 
  • Expansion: The following areas are under development
    • Elma Street (east of Northridge Drive)
    • South Railway Street
    • McRae Street East and North Railway Street (eastbound)

Commercial land in prime retail positions is available at:

  • Westmount
  • Southbank Business Park
  • Gateway Commercial District  
  • Industrial Vision: Light and non-polluting industrial development is important to generate employment.  We aim to increase our industrial sector responsibly and sustainably over the upcoming years. 

 

Outstanding Track Record

Economic Development’s securing of Costco Wholesale assisted in solidifying the Southbank Business Park as another major commercial gateway, thus resulting in less economic leakage outside of Okotoks to Calgary. Costco resulted in the creation of ~ 500 jobs as well as a much needed non-residential tax injection back to the municipality.

The Town of Okotoks continues to be cognizant of factors such as when and where people prefer to shop, the advantages of big box retail and independent shops, tax implications and job creation. We’ve grown our commercial sector sustainably, and we will continue to be a leading choice for large and small businesses in the region. 

 

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