Review the Business Climate

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 Smithers and help you answer the following fundamental questions.

  1. WHAT is the business climate in Smithers?
  2. WHAT costs and assistance should I know about?
  3. HOW do I use this information?

What is the business climate in Smithers?

We have compiled the most important aspects of Smithers’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.






Median Age





Average Household Size


Household Size Distribution


Household Type






Dwelling Type


Dwelling Construction Period


Home Ownership





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 a business in Smithers and assistance available to Smithers businesses.

Property Class Column A Tax Rates dollars of tax per $1000 taxable municipal (general) Column B Tax Rates dollars of tax per $1000 taxable municipal (RCMP) Column C Tax Rates dollars of tax per $1000 taxable municipal (road capital)
Residential 3.081776 1.335323 0.371113
Utilities 27.699606 12.00214 3.335633
Supportive Housing 3.081776 1.335323 0.371113
Major Industry 37.875206 16.41119 4.560996
Light Industry 13.970203 6.05324 1.682315
Business/Other 11.079953 4.8009 1.334266
Managed Forests 9.245328 4.005969 1.11339
Recreation/Non-Profit 3.161664 1.36994 0.380733
Farm 3.081776 1.335323 0.371113

The application fee is $35.00 for residential buildings and $50.00 for all other buildings. The total fee is calculated by the value of construction. The applicant submits a construction value and the building inspector calculates an estimate according to the plans submitted.

Value between $1 and $1,000,000 = $6.25 per $1,000 of total

Value over $1,000,000 = $5.50 per $1,000 of total

Additional costs may include the installation of a water meter or service connection.

Are you new to B.C. or thinking of moving here? Need help deciding where to locate a business? The Cost of Living Calculator can help you to make the right moves!

Cost of Living Calculator

Grant program for $5000 in matching funds to renovate the facades of buildings in Smithers.

Competitiveness Consulting Rebate allows for SMEs to recover up to $30,000 in eligible consultant costs for eligible projects.

Broadband fibre network throughout Smithers.

Off-street parking is no longer required for ALL uses in the C1-A and C1-B zones around Main Street.

Over 100 PhD’s live in Smithers and surrounding area to help you with your research.

Over 150 skilled trades companies based in Smithers and surrounding area to help you build your design.

Over $60 billion dollars in proposed natural resource development taking place in northwest British Columbia with Smithers in the middle of it.

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 minimise 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 (Know your industry). 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.

Make the most of assistance

Getting good advice and adequate financing are two of the most challenging aspects of starting and operating a business. Here’s the good news – the find additional resources activity lists a large number of programs and organizations that can provide the help you need to start, grow and fund your business.

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.

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Contact us

Allan Stroet

Economic Development Officer