Now that Small Business Month has come and gone, and as 2018 winds to a close, it seems like a good opportunity to present some of Medicine Hat’s top small business investment stories from 2018.
In Medicine Hat, a steady economy has prompted small businesses to invest in real estate, retail, services and manufacturing. The value of the City of Medicine Hat’s commercial and industrial building permits totalled over $22,000,000 in 2018, up from $17,700,000 in 2017. Small business injects more than $100 billion per year into the Alberta economy.
Starting downtown, Reliance Insurance doubled their footprint to 7,400 square feet by expanding at their existing location. A few blocks away, an 8,000-square-foot building is preparing for a facelift after recently being sold to Squareone Consulting.
Along the busy Dunmore Road corridor, a 5,200-square-foot former firehall has been converted to retail space, anchored by the 3,200-square-foot Roset by Reid jewelry store. In the city’s northeast, Skinny’s Smokehouse developed a brand new property within minutes of the Canalta Centre.
Retailers are taking advantage of property improvements and a steady economy by opening and expanding as well. Heartwood Cafe, a well-established downtown cafe, doubled their footprint with a move to North Railway Street. Three of Alberta’s 17 cannabis shops were operational on day one of legalization.
Crystal Metz Insurance expanded their footprint in 2018 as well, moving into Medicine Hat’s Norwood Professional Centre, a three-storey premium office building along the busy 13th Avenue corridor. Meanwhile, Kollektiv Cycle capitalized on demand for spin classes by opening a studio downtown.
With Travois Ale Works set to open downtown before the end of 2018, they are Medicine Hat’s third, and smallest, brewery. Grit City Distillery, meanwhile, is making product and expects to open before the end of the year. They are Medicine Hat’s first distillery.
With Medicine Hat’s small business owners feeling optimistic, a look at potential opportunities is worthwhile. The City of Medicine Hat is seeking expressions of interest for a number of infill land development opportunities. And for entrepreneurs, opportunities worth looking at include food processing, plant protein, and more.
Business Development Bank of Canada reports that 73% of small businesses intended to invest in their company in 2018. For companies yet to make their next investment decision, small business activity can be a barometer indicating investor confidence and potential. With healthy business activity and a steady economy, the future looks bright in Canada’s sunniest city.
This article was published in the Medicine Hat News Business Beat on Nov. 21, 2018.