Recent Newsletters

KPMG: Providing World Wide Location Sensitive Costs Comparisons

Starting in 1996, KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives Study has been undertaking business location cost analysis in participating cities and countries around the world, namely in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

KPMG has recently released the 2016 edition of the Competitive Alternatives Study. This study analyses more than 130 cities with a strong focus on North America and provides statistical rankings of these cities and their relative competitiveness based on 26 locational sensitive costs within seventeen business operations. Out of the 10 countries analysed Canada ranks second to Mexico in overall competitiveness and has on average a 14.6 percent cost advantage over the United Stated. Canadian cities continue to be some of the most competitively positioned jurisdictions in which to do business and in general terms smaller cities generally offer cost advantages as compared to larger cities in the same country.

Of the 26 location sensitive costs analysed, labour continues to represent the single largest cost factor and specifically within the manufacturing sector can represent between 45 to 60 per cent of total costs while the non-manufacturing operations range is typically 74 to 85 percent. Canada’s labour costs continue to be some of the lowest in the G7 nations representing a 32 percent advantage. 

While Summerside is not specifically cited in the research given our population threshold, the Economic Development Office has utilized the metrics to undertake its comparison of the Summerside economy to understand the relative positioning in attracting and retaining business. Within the Aerospace, Agri-Food, Software Design and Green Energy, Prince Edward Island and Summerside continue to rank in the top quartiles within the region in relation to our cost competitiveness. This benchmark study is used by many site selectors and business enterprise and is utilized by the economic development department to ensure Summerside is continuing to monitor our location costs and identify areas for improvement, the positioning of Summerside in the market and articulate our true strengths.

To learn more about KPMG Competitive Alternatives:

BDC and Productivity

BDC Vice-President Research and Chief Economist Pierre Cleroux recently spoke at the Economic Developers Association of Canada Conference to provide practitioners with the latest economic outlook and provided specific insights into factors that contribute to small and mid-size firm growths. The key messages delivered by Mr. Cleroux to Canadian firms in terms of strategies for success that companies should be focussing on include; workforce training, devoting resources to investments in infrastructure and equipment and finding ways to increase Canadian SME’s productivity as it relates to the global economy. 

BDC, the only Canadian Bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs has a mandate to help create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and indirect financing, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

BDC recently launched an interactive tool that allows SME’s to measure their firm’s productivity and find out where one ranks compared to other Canadian businesses within their industry. Results are calculated and displayed online in minutes after completing an easy to use tool.  Users will then be able to download a printable report containing results along with recommended reading on best practices. 

Mr. Cleroux’s concluding comments were that “SME’s need to ensure they measure their efficiency as this is the key to one’s profitability”. The benchmarking tool was designed with that purpose in mind and can be a great first step along the productivity journey. The interactive tool can be found on BDC’s website at:

Economic Development and Tourism: Challenging Perceptions

The following article is a synopsis of a presentation by Mellor Murray Consulting on the challenges and opportunities for cross collaboration between two industry sectors.

The challenge with understanding the hidden worth of tourism development in general is that tourism contribution to jobs and investment is often undervalued, that industry performance measures are more often than not unsupported by quantitative data and the lack of collaboration between private and public sectors as well as industry groups is limiting the true economic impact of tourism.

In Canada tourism is a $90.3 billion dollar industry (2015) and represents $400 million in direct spending in PEI. In Canada, tourism supports over 1.7 million jobs and over 620,000 directly representing a significant employment opportunity for our labour talent. This represents 1 in 11 jobs in Canada that are related to tourism and represents approximately 8% of total employment.

Tourism in Canada and especially in PEI has attracted visitors with their focus on landscapes and activities but tourism goes much further to support the building of transportation networks, raising the quality of life in a community and raising the potential to raise the profile of the community in addition to investment and labour attraction and growth.

The challenge for industry professionals is articulating the value to a community with sound analytical research, defining hard and fast benefits that are easy to see and understand, rallying local engagement in regards to the opportunities and benefits and finding ways to engage the local supply chain to more actively participate and benefit from tourism.

Summerside has many of the tools for success to grow this important industry in all categories of tourism including leisure and business travellers and has developed a unique strategy through the Sport and Event Tourism Summerside Strategy, a division of Community Services. Its sole purpose is to assist minor and amateur sporting bodies along with event organizers in attracting regional, national, and international sporting events in Summerside for the purpose of hosting. The challenge and opportunity moving forward is to leverage our assets and stakeholders to grow Summerside’s share of this $90 billion dollar industry and take advantage of all aspects of our visitor’s true potential.

To learn more about the report’s author visit:

Three levels of government cooperate to offer interlocking initiatives facilitating the growth of business in Summerside. All incentive programs are accessible to all businesses. Investigate the opportunities at our website: 

For more information on Summerside contact Mike Thususka
Director of Economic Development, City of Summerside
+1.902.432.1255 or

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