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Supporting business

Our entrepreneurial spirit runs deep. Calgarians are​ ambitious people who believe anything is possible when you work hard. You follow your dreams, open businesses and create opportunities. The City supports entrepreneurs every step of the way by making it easier to do business in Calgary.​​​

W​e are committed to:
  • Supporting business success in Calgary – from idea to open
  • Reducing the time and money it takes to run a business in Calgary
  • Improving communications with Calgary’s business community

Business and Local Economy

This page is a glimpse of the work we are doing to support​ businesses. To see what else we are working on​​ visit:​

​​​​Business and Local economy​​​​​​​


Here's what we've been up to

What are we doing?

We are:

  • Improving the journey from idea to open a business in Calgary.
  • Updating the process for the Film industry to do business in Calgary.
  • Developing a Smart City Strategy​.
  • Developing tools and online resources to assist businesses through their life-cycle.
  • Increasing communications to the business community.
  • Hosting webinars on topics that support small businesses. 
  • Providing free one-on-one Digital Service Squad service to guide entitled small business owners on leveraging digital platforms and technologies to grow their online presence.

What's been done?

We have:

  • Created a #SupportLocalYYC campaign to encourage Calgarians to support local businesses. As part of this, we also provided marketing resources for businesses so they too could promote buying locally.
  • Provided Canada's first virtual one window approach to permitting online. We offer live chat, saving business applicants time and money.
  • Approved pop-up and interim businesses in all commercial areas (another Canada first). This eliminates lengthy approval process and licensing restrictions. 
  • Established the $100-million Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund to attract and support transformative investments in Calgary that will support economic growth, diversification, and increase employment. 
  • Created a Business and Local Economy team to support businesses by cutting red tape through streamlining City processes and reducing the time and money it takes to open and run a business in Calgary.
  • Created the Business Experience Improvement Program to support people through the process to establish a small business. 
  • Created a ‘Living Lab’ program to open City of Calgary assets to companies and researchers, to test and try their ideas and products.
  • Created a Business Advisory Committee made up of members of the local business community. This Council-led committee gives us insight and feedback into how we can improve City processes.
  • Established a Film Friendly team to enhance services and support for the film industry, making Calgary a premier destination for film, TV, and digital media production.
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We do regular research with businesses to better understand the outlook and viewpoint of the business community. If you are a business owner, leader or manager, join our online business research panel, Business Perspectives.