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Small Saskatchewan City Preparing for Big-Time Economic Growth

City of Yorkton
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City of Yorkton
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Affordability, proximity to major transportation corridors, and city-sponsored incentives are reasons businesses choose to locate in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.  

About 300 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon, amidst some of the region’s largest and richest potash fields, is the City of Yorkton. Thanks to recent growth along the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border, which has spurred economic activity in the region, Yorkton has seen a growth rate of 4.3 per cent since 2011. In addition to being the third largest trading area in Saskatchewan, Yorkton is the economic centre of east-central Saskatchewan and recently earned the title of one of the Best Communities for Business in the category of Community on the Rise by Alberta Venture Magazine. 

Regional and international businesses are investing billions in new ventures and expansion projects in Yorkton, creating new employment opportunities and changing the landscape of the city’s labour market. 

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An attractive place for businesses to set up shop

Yorkton’s highly educated and skilled workforce, moderate property taxes, and stable commercial, industrial, and residential sectors — along with proximity to major highways, rail lines, and regional and international airports — make Yorkton an attractive place for businesses to set up shop. 

On top of that, the City of Yorkton offers numerous incentives to businesses to locate, relocate, or expand in the area. For example, the newly introduced Residential Construction Initiative grants a 100 per cent tax rebate over five years to the owner of a newly constructed one- or two-unit dwelling.  

The Business Creation and Expansion Incentive Program provides incentives to applicants who are constructing a new commercial building or adding onto an existing one, with the goal of helping to expand local businesses, invite new businesses to the city, and stimulate the local economy. 

Recent revisions to the Sale of Residential Lots Policy now allow contractors licensed by the City of Yorkton to secure building and advertising rights on a city-owned lot with only a 10 per cent deposit and pay the remaining balance owing on the lot once the home is sold, or two years from the deposit date, whichever is sooner.  

Finally, the Business Improvement Incentive Program and Façade and Site Incentive Program are designed to encourage commercial property owners and business owners to enhance the appearance of their building facades or storefronts and make them more visually appealing to visitors and residents, increase property values, and build civic pride. 

One of the most affordable cities for living and working

The region’s affordability is a big advantage to living and working in Yorkton. Housing prices are among the lowest compared to other cities with a similar population in Saskatchewan. Many reasonably priced, vacant, and fully serviced commercial and industrial lots are for sale. In addition to lower municipal taxes, Yorkton’s development charges are lower compared to any major city in Saskatchewan. 

The shorter commute times — an average of 13 minutes compared to Canada’s average of 26 minutes — saves time and money. In addition, the direct access and connections to neighbouring communities and beyond via the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway 16 and other major highways give Yorkton’s businesses certain logistics and accessibility advantages.

Finally, while Yorkton offers a small-town feel, it offers all the amenities of a larger urban centre, such as access to good health care, education, big box stores, infrastructure, utilities, high-speed internet, and a variety of indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities.

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