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City reveals business growth numbers for Q1

Mayor Gerald Aalbers is sharing a confident business outlook after the first quarter of 2022.

His comments come as longtime family-owned business Richardsons Jewellery officially opened Thursday at their new location.

Aalbers says the city is seeing more new business startups.

A deep dive of the business numbers from the Economic Development department for Q1 shows:

  • Total business licenses Q1 2022 – 1,819 which is a 4.3 per cent increase year over year
  • Regional unemployment on the Alberta side is 6.8 per cent; for Saskatchewan 5.1 per cent (Canada: 5.8 per cent)
  • Hotel Occupancy:

2020 – 38.7 per cent,

2021 – 26.6 per cent,

2022 – 43.7 per cent

Looking at hotel occupancy Aalbers recognized the over 200 visitors that are in Lloydminster for the Livestock Marketing Association of Canada convention which runs until Saturday.

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“Man, can they speak fast. And they do a great job. We’re going to see the best of the best. We are going to see the Canadian champion auctioneer named here in Lloydminster and I think it’s just terrific to host that event as we host other events throughout the city, throughout the year.”

  • For real estate house sales comparing Q1:

2021 – 132

2022 – 117

An 11 per cent decrease in sales year-to-date compared to 2021. Also, a 2.9 per cent increase in average detached house prices compared to 2021.

  • Real estate house sales for April 2022:

Sales Y/Y for April are up 12.7%

Inventory down 8.4%

  • Lloydminster building permit values:

2019: $6.5 million

2020: $1.7 million

2021: $7.3 million

2022: $4.7 million

  • Building permits issued:

2019 – AB 22, SK 9   = 31

2020 – AB 14, SK 5   =  5

2021 – AB 18, SK 10 = 28

2022 – AB 21, SK 3   = 24

  • WestJet flight departures from Lloydminster Airport:

2019 – 89

2020 – 74

2021 – 20

2022 – 33.

Aalbers notes the importance of the air link to urban centres.

“We can’t forget about that service to Calgary. They’ve had 33 flights already this year, compared to 20 last year. So we have seen a significant increase. So we want to get back up to that regular service from WestJet. They want to do it and it takes the marketplace as demanded by usage.”

Aalbers shares overall that the increase in business licenses is “a tremendous first  step” and shows “the confidence of people to invest in business.”

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