Monday, March 31, 2008

Moncton is #1 business centre in Atlantic region: report

Moncton is #1 business centre in Atlantic region: report

Last Updated: Friday, March 28, 2008 | 2:51 PM AT CBC News

For the second year in a row Moncton has been named the best place for business in Atlantic Canada and New England, according to a KPMG report.

The report compares business climates in major centres along the Atlantic seaboard, looking at real estate prices, central location and bureaucratic red tape.

Fredericton placed second in the KPMG report, followed by Charlottetown, and Halifax. Overall, Canadian cities ranked higher than more expensive New England cities.

John Thompson, CEO of Enterprise Greater Moncton, an economic development group, was pleased with Moncton's rating.

"Our labour costs are still reasonable, and our cost for commercial property is still reasonable compared to other jurisdictions," he said. "That combines to make for a healthy and vibrant business environment."

But it's also about attitude, Thompson said, noting that over the past few years Moncton has hosted a number of major concerts and sports events. Also, he said, a new bridge to the downtown has just opened and a new casino could be next.

By contrast, Thompson said, Halifax has lost out on major concerts, and the city's bid for the Commonwealth Games fell apart over financial troubles.

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