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Parksville named most economically resilient Vancouver Island city

BC Business’ annual ranking determined Parksville was third overall in province
The crowd takes in the music during last August’s Rock the Park event in Parksville Community Park. (Wendy Sears photo)

The City of Parksville is the most economically resilient city on Vancouver Island, according to a BC Business annual ranking.

Parksville came in third overall in the province, behind only Squamish and North Vancouver, the ninth annual ranking list shows.

The last year “continued to present challenges for Parksville businesses as they adapted to the COVID reality, proving their resiliency during difficult times,” said Mayor Doug O’Brien, in a City of Parksville news release. “Everyone should be very proud of this accomplishment and recognition from BC Business.”

The list looks at B.C.’s 50 most populous communities and factors in indicators such as social, economic resilience, population growth, resident sense of belonging and environmental aspects. Parksville was ranked fifth in 2022, second in 2021 and 15th in 2020.

BC Business noted Parksville is “popular with tourists and retirees” and has healthy household finances, strong residential sales and low unemployment. The article also touched on the labour shortage, which is a challenge for the city’s economy.

READ MORE: Parksville club set to host BC Masters Curling Championships

“Many factors contributed to Parksville’s successful ranking such as an increase in rental inventory, low municipal debt and a substantial accumulated surplus, environmental initiatives, expedited building permit approvals, and infrastructure renewal,” O’Brien continued. “As I have said for years, Parksville has been discovered, folks!”

Vancouver Island communities had an overall strong showing, representing half of the list’s top 10, with healthy population growth, secure household finances, solid residential sales and development and the tightest unemployment rates in the province. BC Business added that Island communities Comox (14th), Courtenay (24th) and Saanich (31st) all saw double-digit drops from last year’s ranking.

The ranking includes only communities of more than 10,000 permanent residents, so Qualicum Beach was not considered.

Nanaimo moved up two spots from 24th to 22nd place.

— NEWS Staff

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