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 Airdrie and help you answer the following fundamental questions.

What is the business climate in Airdrie?

We have compiled the most important aspects of Airdrie’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.




Resident Indicator Population Growth Chart






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 Airdrie and assistance available to Airdrie businesses.

Alberta is well-known for its low tax rates and Airdrie is no exception. Airdrie businesses benefit from the savings realized from no provincial sales tax, no capital or payroll taxes and no machinery and equipment taxes.

No business tax

Airdrie does not charge a business tax. When compared with municipalities who do charge such a tax, this can save a business thousands of dollars a year.

Property tax & assessment

Airdrie offers a very competitive tax environment. When compared to the total taxes in Calgary and other similar-sized municipalities, Airdrie offers businesses a very cost-effective alternative. View Airdrie's current non-residential property tax rate. Or, use the Tax Estimator to estimate your property taxes.

Off-site levies are charged for the purpose of reimbursing the City for the capital costs associated with new developments where subdivision of land is required.

Development levies are charged with respect to any proposed development within the city that has not been subject to a previous servicing agreement.

The Off-site Levy Bylaw sets the new development levy rate effective January 18, 2016. Transportation, wastewater and water are examples of off-site projects that are necessary to provide appropriate off-site services to development areas. All on-site development costs are paid for by the developer.

If you have questions or want to know more about the new rate structure, please visit or contact the Engineering Department 403-948-8835 or via email

Airdrie’s wage and salary rates are competitive with the rest of Canada and with the United States. When total compensation rates are compared, Airdrie and Alberta 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

Businesses in Airdrie benefit from:

No provincial sales tax

No payroll tax

No inventory tax

No machinery and equipment tax

No health care premiums

Lower personal income tax rates

The lowest fuel tax among provinces

Provincial small business income tax rate of just 2%

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, the small-business tax rate in Alberta was cut from 3% to 2% — giving Alberta the second-lowest small-business tax rate in the country, tied with Saskatchewan.

Provincial corporate income tax rate of 12%

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. 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.

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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