Industries & Initiatives

Economic Development Survey For Businesses
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Key Stats & Accomplishments
  • KPMG's 2008 Competitive Alternatives Report reports that it is more costs more effective to do business in the Red Deer Region than the Canadian average.
  • The Red Deer Region's growing economy equates to thriving businesses. Many of the Region's traditional and emerging sectors are expanding at record rates.
  • Traditional sectors include oil and gas; petrochemicals; agriculture; food and beverage processing; distribution, wholesale and retail services; and tourism. Newly emerging sectors include telecommunications and wireless services; biotechnology; value-added agriculture; software development; and electronics and microelectronics.
  • Within minutes of the Red Deer Region, an expanding cluster of major petrochemical operators including Nova, Dow, and BP Canada Chemicals Company employ over 1,100 staff. This is the third largest petrochemical cluster in Canada.
  • Parkland Income Fund was named one of Alberta's 30 Fastest Growing Companies in the province.
Oil DerrickOil & Gas - An Economic Mainstay
The Red Deer Region is known as Alberta's head office for oilfield production services. A record 19,849 oil and gas wells were completed in the western Canadian sedimentary basin in 2003. This record number of wells, combined with strong commodity prices, has sparked industry experts to predict a strong year ahead.

The region's competitive expertise in the oil and gas sector is a source of innovation. Local companies are responsible for advances in information technology, oil service technologies, equipment fabrication and transportation. These emerging sectors are adaptive, nimble, globally competitive and are selling products and services to companies around the world.

A 2003 BMO Financial Group study reports that knowledge-based professions and scientific and technical services supporting the oil and gas industry are largely made up of small firms. As a result, Red Deer has among the highest number of small businesses per capita.
Broad-Based Service Sector
The region's sophisticated service sector offers a full range of retail, wholesale and professional services.

A range of professional, legal, accounting, consulting, graphic design and advertising services help support the success of local businesses.

The dynamic financial services sector includes retail banks, investment firms, stockbrokers, trust companies, credit unions, mortgage companies as well as insurance agents, brokers and adjusters. A 2003 BMO Financial Group study sites Red Deer as a hot bed for small businesses with a predominant number specializing in financial services.

Large retail companies such as Costco, Leon's and Staples are located in the County and serve the primary trade area.
Distribution Hub MapPrime Distribution Hub
As the service centre for all of Central Alberta, the retail, wholesale and distribution industries continue to expand to meet market demands. A number of organizations, including Daimler Chrysler and Nestle Purina, demonstrate the efficiency of distributing throughout western Canada and the north western United States from the Red Deer Region.

The region's location at the crossroads of major air, rail and ground transportation routes offer a range of choices for shipping goods and purchasing supplies.
  • Easy access to Highway #2, (connects Alberta to the rest of Canada and the United States)
  • Rail transport is provided by Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP)
  • Edmonton International Airport is located 120 kilometers (75 miles) to the north
  • Calgary International Airport is 140 kilometers (87 miles) to the south
  • Red Deer Regional Airport is 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) southwest of the City of Red Deer
Alberta is also home to a telecommunications infrastructure that is second to none in the country, making it easy to efficiently exchange ideas and information.
Expanding Manufacturing Industry
The manufacturing industry in the region continues to grow and diversify into efficient suppliers of specialized products. Metal fabrication, petrochemicals and transportation equipment are just some of the areas supported by this industry.

In 2003, overall sales for manufacturers increased by $65 million or 2%. The petroleum, chemical and transportation industries experienced the highest sales growth.

Metal fabrication is the largest sector of manufacturing in the area. Machinery, wood cabinetry and food processing are the next largest sectors.

The average number of employees per manufacturing operation grew 7% in 2003 - from 36 individuals to 39. Petrochemicals, rubber, and plastics experienced the highest employment growth, increasing 22% over the same period.

Manufacturing Survey
The Manufacturers Survey has once again demonstrated strong growth within the Red Deer Region's manufacturing sector.

Every other year, the Red Deer Regional Economic Development alliance distributes a manufacturing survey to manufacturers within the Red Deer Region. Trends and developments are shown, including employment, salary and wages, distribution of manufacturing jobs, sales and where products are being bought and sold.

The latest results show that the number of manufacturing companies within the region are continuing to grow, with new companies starting up or merging with other companies.

The increase in the number of companies also brought with it a number of employment opportunities.
Strong Agriculture & Agriculture Processing Centre
A thriving centre for value-added agricultural processing, with tremendous future growth opportunities, complements the region's historical roots in mixed farming.

The agri-food industry grew by 8.4 % over the past decade. This far outstripped the Canadian average of -1.1%.

Ninety percent of the land in Red Deer County is dedicated to agriculture production. The land has deep, fertile, black soils; reliable surface water and ground water resources; and a favourable growing season.

Here are some videos that reflect business activity in Red Deer County and area:
Outside Resources
Central Alberta Access Prosperity: Your one-stop networking and information resource about business in Central Alberta.

Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP): Recognized as both an innovative way to facilitate rural economic development and serves as a vital partner in the continued diversification of Central Alberta's economy. Featuring strategies that build on the region’s existing efforts and successes, and provides a solid direction for future growth on the global market.