The Calgary Regional Partnership

Review the Business Climate

Business Climate Indicators

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. We have compiled the most important aspects of the Region’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.

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Median Age

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Household Size Distribution

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Costs and Financial Assistance

Whether you have a new or existing businesses 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 the Region as well as information on available financial assistance.

In comparison to other provinces, businesses in the greater Calgary Region 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, 2015 the general Alberta corporate income tax rate is 12 per cent. The Alberta small business income tax rate is 2 per cent for eligible small businesses with income up to $500,000.

The combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate in the Calgary Region is 27 per cent for general businesses, 14 per cent for small businesses, and a competitive corporate income tax rate is in place for manufacturers. Businesses in the Calgary Region 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. Learn More

The Calgary Region is committed to fostering a strong and diverse workforce that capitalizes on the inherent strengths of the region. The Region boasts competitive location-sensitive costs for standardized commercial and industrial operations.

The Calgary Region’s wage and salary rates are competitive with the rest of Canada and with the United States. When total compensation rates are compared, the Calgary Region provides even more of a cost advantage compared to the U.S., largely because of publicly funded health care. A summary of the average hourly earnings for the Calgary CMA is shown in the table below.

Industry Average hourly wage
rate in 2015
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction $44.80
Utilities $45.62
Construction $31.12
Manufacturing $23.35
Wholesale Trade $31.99
Retail Trade $20.00
Transportation and Warehousing $30.97
Information and Cultural Industries $28.47
Finance and Insurance $32.69
Real Estate Rental and Leasing $27.27
Professional Scientific and Technical Services $40.66
Administrative and Support $21.97
Health Care and Social Assistance $30.24
Arts Entertainment and Recreation $22.68
Other Services(except Public Admin) $24.25
Public Administration $37.97

The following link provides more information on the Calgary Region’s salaries and minimum wages. Learn more

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: Workers' Compensation Board of Alberta

Workers Compensation
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.

Learn more: Canada Revenue Agency, Employment Insurance for Employers

Employment Insurance
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

Businesses in the Calgary Region 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%

More Resources/Info

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

CRP Economic Prosperity
403-851-2509
economicprosperity@calgaryregion.ca