The Value

Think of market access. With nearly 1 million people on Vancouver Island and about 2.7 million in Greater Vancouver, a Nanaimo-based goods producer has close market access to 10% of Canada’s population.

It’s still early days as the Prosperity Corporation only began operations in 2023. We will continue analyzing cluster gaps and opportunities especially in wealth-generating sectors so that we can communicate directly and meaningfully with prospective investors. In the meantime, please direct your business criteria and/or inquiries to us. We’ll help however we can.

People choose to live in Nanaimo; to set up business in Nanaimo because it is a unique, ‘be yourself’, ‘come as you are’ kind of place. With easy access to major centres of the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver & Seattle) and a 90-minute drive from the BC Capital in Victoria, you can build and maintain your networks without the daily stress of traffic and congestion. ‘Island Life’ is a real thing! Many have found that it’s entirely possible to be productive AND chill…

Nanaimo is one of the fastest-growing Canadian cities and full of hidden gems. From small mom-and-pop shops to medium-sized businesses, allow us to introduce you to a few of the amazing people who have built their lives and their entreprises in our community.

Benefits at a glance
Fast-Growing City

In 2022, Nanaimo was the fourth fastest-growing city in Canada. In the last five years, it has witnessed a rise in building permits, new business openings, telecommunications, transportation, and education improvements. Nanaimo is still in the act of becoming. There’s room for you here. There’s space for your ideas and for your contributions. Come help us shape the future.

Stable Economy

Nanaimo’s average GDP growth is more than twice the Province’s average at 4.6% over the last three years. Because the Nanaimo economy (like the Island and B.C. economy) is predominantly comprised of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), no single sector dominates. Instead, the diversity of government services, post-secondary education, small-scale manufacturing, healthcare, technology, transportation, marine industries, tourism, and retail offerings contribute to a dynamism that continues to evolve.

For updated reports and information on the state of the jobs economy in Nanaimo, market research, or further economic data, visit our statistics page. For information about the Island economy, check out the State of the Island Economic Report produced annually by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance. And if you’re looking for resources to evaluate the market, our Business Resources has essential information.

Gateway To Vancouver Island

Nanaimo, located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, is a mere 60 km (37 miles) from Vancouver. Barge and ferry services connect cargo to Vancouver and internationally from the Port of Nanaimo. While air freight goes directly to Vancouver (the shortest commercial service in Canada) and Calgary, from Nanaimo Airport.

YCD transports passengers directly to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Prince George, and Toronto (seasonal). Port of Nanaimo connections and central location for short-sea and trans-ocean shipping make Nanaimo a natural distribution centre serving the product needs of communities across the Island region and beyond.

For more information on Nanaimo’s initiatives see our ​​Economic Development Initiatives page.

Skilled Labour & Higher Education

More than 6,500 businesses in Nanaimo have success finding the skilled labour they need from local, post-secondary institutions.
Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University (VIU) graduates students with trade certificates, college diplomas, BA and MBA degrees. Other notable post-secondary schools include Discovery College, Sprott-Shaw College, and Western Maritime Institute.

University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Camosun College and North Island College, all on Vancouver Island, are also strong sources of skilled labour for local businesses. With the proximity to Greater Vancouver, the continuous flow of graduating students from institutions such as UBC, BCIT, SFU, Emily Carr, etc. provides additional recruiting resources for local employers.

What’s it like

living in Nanaimo?