Manufacturing in Kamloops:
An Industry Snapshot
Manufacturing is a major contributor to Kamloops’ local economy. With more than 120 fabrication and manufacturing companies operating in the Kamloops area, approximately 5.4% of the workforce is employed in this sector, as of the most recent census in 2016. Employment in manufacturing has stabilized, and factors such as automation will contribute to only a slight decrease of 1.2% between 2016-2022. Kamloops manufacturers have traditionally been tied to the resource sector, and in recent years, have experienced growth in smaller, niche oriented companies.
Kamloops manufacturers can expect modest growth in the value added to the economy, with 8.0% growth expected from 2016-2022, below the Kamloops total growth of 13.9% increase to real GDP over the same period. Most manufacturers, particularly those servicing the construction trade, forestry, mining and alternative health sectors have been able to continue to expand their operations. Steel and wood fabrication sectors have been a steady and solid sector as institutional and commercial real estate projects in the region have been solid.
Venture Kamloops is a proud sponsor of The Trade Accelerator Program (TAP). Through this Greater Vancouver Board of Trade initiative, we have helped Kamloops businesses facilitate faster exporting, and prepare them for business on an international scale. One company supported in this program from Kamloops received a nomination for “Regional Export Plan of the Year” distinction. Most other manufacturing companies in Kamloops service both a local market and a broader regional market, which includes Western Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Kamloops’ Competitive Advantages for the Manufacturing Services Industry
One of Kamloops’ advantages is its geographic location in the province of British Columbia. As a transportation hub with trucking, rail and air cargo access, the ability to move products from Kamloops to other locations in a cost-efficient method is ideal.
Kamloops has over 2,200 acres of affordable land zoned for industrial use, much of which is vacant. There are eight industrial parks; some with both rail and highway access and the city enjoys a reliable supply of affordable power and telecommunications.
Local Resources and Support
There are more than 125 fabrication and manufacturing companies operating in the city and businesses enjoy extensive research and development support by the Interior Science and Innovation Council, FORREX, Nexterra and Thompson Rivers University. In terms of raw materials, wood species, lumber grades, fibre supply and wood waste are available at competitive prices.
Skilled & Educated Labour Force
The city enjoys a diverse pool of trades, forestry specialists, contract loggers, truckers and silviculture workers. Additionally, Kamloops is home to Thompson Rivers University (TRU). With over 1,200 graduates annually from a wide variety of diploma, undergraduate and graduate programs, TRU works closely with community and industry organizations, and all levels of government. Since 1996, TRU faculty and students have worked with over 200 manufacturing and technology businesses to develop and implement commercial applications of new and existing technologies and innovations. Projects including consulting for wood products and other manufacturing companies, equipment automation projects for industry, technology commercialization, business start-up and marketing advice, and applied research and development to regional and provincial businesses and industries. More Information
Kamloops has a vast landscape with plenty of room in which to play and engage in an array of recreational opportunities, all while enjoying over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually. Housing is affordable and the cost of doing business is competitive, plus the area boasts exceptional schooling options and healthcare services. Employee retention is high in Kamloops with employees citing an affordable, quality of life in the region as a major plus.
Incentives for the Manufacturing Industry
Machinery and Equipment Investment
Purchase of eligible machinery and equipment is exempted from Provincial Sales Tax (PST). Eligible expenditures include machinery and equipment used in manufacturing, software development, mining and mineral exploration, petroleum and natural gas production and logging. More Information
FortisBC Heavy-duty Natural Gas Vehicles Incentive Program
Following the Government of B.C.’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction regulation announcement, FortisBC has an incentive funding program to assist qualifying heavy-duty fleet operators to purchase natural gas vehicles which will allow companies to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and see fuel savings. More Information
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Research
Thompson Rivers University is developing a vibrant and collaborative research and innovation culture, with a focus on curiosity-driven research, community-based research, applied research, technology transfer, and knowledge translation. The research excellence is supported through a commitment to research infrastructure, research facilities, internal research funding, research chairs, knowledge mobilization resources, and student research. More Information
The British Columbia Business Network: Find suppliers quickly and conveniently through the British Columbia Business Network (BCBN), and learn more about importing from British Columbia, Canada. The B.C. Business Network is a resource provided by the Government of British Columbia, Canada that helps you identify exporters and suppliers with goods and services for sale.
British Columbia Manufacturer’s Directory: More Information
“CanDig Mini Excavators Inc. chose to be incorporated in Kamloops, B.C. in August, 2002 after considering various other options, including Kelowna and Calgary. Kamloops was chosen due to the lower cost of establishing a manufacturing business, and generally lower cost of living. In Kamloops, there has been an impressive amount of support for our business from the Chamber of Commerce, Venture Kamloops, Community Futures, local banks, and the National Research Council of Canada. Kamloops also provides spectacular outdoor experiences for its residents, including skiing, hiking, and other recreational activities. Collectively, Kamloops is a very attractive place to locate new business venture.”
- Gordon Leschyson, CanDig Mini Excavators Inc.