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 Sundre and help you answer the following fundamental questions.

What is the business climate in Sundre?

We have compiled the most important aspects of Sundre’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 Sundre and assistance available to Sundre businesses.

Corporate Taxes

The Town of Sundre charges no corporate tax to businesses operating within its Town limits. In addition to being free of corporate and personal taxes, since Sundre is located in the province of Alberta, there are no provincial sales taxes to charge or administer.

The provincial corporate tax rate is 12%, and the small business tax has recently been reduced to just 2% for those businesses making $500,000 or less per year.

2017 Sundre Property Taxes (Mill Rate)

Sundre charges property taxes according to a mill rate, which translates into a dollar amount charged per $1,000 of assessment. (For instance, a mill rate of 7.964 will lead to municipally-controlled property tax charges of $796.40 on a property assessed at $100,000).

  • Residential / Farmland 7.964
  • Non-Residential 11.752
  • Vacant Non-Residential 11.752
  • Annexed Residential 2.84
  • Annexed Farmland 7.964
  • Annexed Non-Residential 10.080

Let Sundre Economic Development help you locate office space, industrial space or other retail and commercial space in Sundre. With several new land development opportunities in Town, we can also point you in the right direction if you're ready to build.

Development Fees are charged during the various stages of the permitting process. Learn More

Please arrange to have a free pre-application meeting with our Planning and Development team to discuss the development process and applicable levies and charges.

Off-site Levies

Off-site levies are collected by the municipality to help cover the cost of infrastructure improvements required to facilitate the growth of the town. Sundre's Offsite Levy Bylaw was recently updated in 2015. Learn More

Calculating Your Estimated Levy

Calculating your levy will depend on what area of Town you are investing into, and what type of project you're doing. Contact Sundre Economic Development to arrange for a free pre-application meeting.

Alberta’s wage and salary rates are competitive with the rest of Canada and with the United States. When total compensation rates are compared, Alberta provides a significant cost advantage compared to the U.S., largely because of publicly funded health care.

Detailed wage and salary information for over 400 occupations in Alberta is available here.

Alberta is one of the most affordable places in Canada to live. Here’s a look at some of the financial benefits of life in Alberta.

Higher incomes

Families in Alberta typically enjoy a higher family income than other parts of Canada. Median total single-family household income is $141,754.50. Also, 50.1% of household incomes are equal to or greater than $125,000.

Lower cost of living

Alberta offers many cost-of-living advantages:

  • No provincial health-care premiums.
  • No provincial sales tax (PST). Residents in every other province pay up to 10 per cent in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid by all Canadians.
  • Tax rebates and credits are available to further help with your finances.

You can compare how Canadians spend their incomes in major cities here.

Affordable housing

Owning your own home is more affordable in Alberta than in many other Canadian cities. Alberta housing prices are among the lowest when compared to equivalent cities in British Columbia or Ontario.

Investors into Sundre Benefit from a Progressive Community

Quality Living, Quality Infrastructure, and Quality Workforce at Low Cost

Sundre is in the fortunate position of being strong in the four areas most relevant to investment.


Because Sundre is also a sub-regional hub, it is home to many amenities normally only found in big cities, including schools, regional hospital, a performing arts centre, kms of trails, etc. It is fast developing into one of Alberta's top destinations for recreation and culture, making it an ideal place to live – and only about 30 minutes from the mountains.


Thanks to modern tech equipment, Sundre's infrastructure and underground services are constantly being updated. Sundre has recently rebuilt its main North-South corridor, Centre Street, with updated servicing, and the town's new industrial park location was recently provided access to by a new wide road providing direct access to the Hwy 22/27 high-load trucking corridor. The Red Deer River also provides ample water supply.


Sundre's workforce is a strong blend of service, trades and professional administration. The natural sciences, natural resources and manufacturing sectors also represent large occupational groups in town. No matter the industry, due to our wide trading area, our labour pool pulls in the workforce necessary for your success. Thanks to special partnerships with Olds College, which is only 30 minutes away, special workforce development opportunities are also available.


Real estate in Sundre is less than communities of similar size located along the Hwy 2 corridor near Calgary; cost savings can also be found through the town's municipally-owned gas system.

Town-owned Gas System

The Town of Sundre distributes and manages its Natural Gas utility. The Town began providing Natural Gas to the community in 1962, and is a member of the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops. This enables the Town to provide consumers with a stable and competitively priced gas supply, resulting in monthly savings of up to 33%, and in some cases, is up to 75% less to connect to the system as compared to private distributors. Learn More

  • Flat Rate Distribution Charge: $26.00/month
  • Consumption Charge: Natural Gas Cost plus $1.45/GJ (i.e. cost of $3.00 + $1.45)
  • Gas System Improvement Charge: $0.21/GJ
Expedited Permitting Decisions

The Town of Sundre has recently modified its Land Use Bylaw to allow for expedited permitting decisions. This means no more needing to wait for up to a month to meet with the Municipal Planning Commission for a decision. Faster decisions equal more time and more opportunity to make money.

Possibility for Levy Deferrals

In some circumstances, the off-site levy charged to developers can be deferred to a later date in order to help developers with current cash flow.

Factors Making Sundre a Destination for Investment
  • Many acres of affordable serviced and serviceable lands available
  • Access to Red Deer River water supply
  • Free health care insurance provided to all residents of Canada
  • Small Business Tax of just 2%
  • Low corporate income tax of just 12% in Alberta
  • Expedited permitting process
  • Town-owned gas system provides cheap alternative to competing markets
  • Exceptional quality of living, close to the mountains and only an hour from Calgary
  • Adequate infrastructure and resource-supply to meet your company's needs
  • Available workforce, with partnership opportunities possible with nearby Olds College

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta was created by government to administer the Workers Compensation Act for the province’s workers and employers. Funded by employers the WCB provides cost-effective disability and liability insurance for work related injury and illness. The WCB compensates workers for lost income and coordinates the health care and other services that may be required to recover from a work-related injury.

Learn More: Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta

Workers Compensation
Average Cost for All Manufacuring (per $100 Payroll) (Per $100 of insurable earnings) $0.24 - $2.94
Average Rate for Office Workers (Per $100 of insurable earnings) $0.13 - $0.25
Maximum Weekly Benefit (90% of maximum insurable earnings $98,700) $1,225.61

Source: WCB rates by sector and industry

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is the governing federal body for all legislation related to employment insurance (EI) in Canada. Businesses must deduct employment insurance from an employee’s insurable earnings if that employee is in insurable employment during the year. Insurable employment includes most employment in Canada under a contract of service (employer – employee relationship). There is no age limit for deducting EI premiums.

Learn More: Canada Revenue Agency, Employment Insurance for Employers

Employment Insurance
Taxable Base Annual maximum insurable earnings $51,300.00
Rate % Employer contribution rate 2.282%
Average Among Existing Employers Annual maximum employer contribution $1,170.67

Source: Payworks Payroll Legislation

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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Contact us

Jon Allan
Economic Development Officer
403-638-3551 ext. 111