Think Kimberley? Think regional.
It’s what’s around that counts!
Kimberley exists in a regional market. The city's population is 6,652,and when including immediate outlying rural areas is 8,200. There's an additional 33,000 in the Cranbrook region, just 25 minutes away. Kimberley is also situated near the centre of the Kootenay Rockies region: a region distinguished by a cluster of resort and resource communities, furnished with a wealth of natural capital and alternative culture. This Kootenay Rockies region area offers access to over 70,000 people.
Additionally, the Prairies provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba contribute significantly to Kimberley’s economy. The proximity to Alberta (2 hours), National Parks (2.5 hours) and one of Canada’s wealthiest economies — Calgary (4 hours) has contributed to Kimberley’s draw as both a destination playground and a desired lifestyle community.
Kimberley also competes globally. Mobile households and businesses can choose to locate anywhere, and they’re choosing Kimberley. Kimberley’s welcoming culture and natural attributes have contributed to a population growth of 8.4% from 2006 to 2011. Kimberley’s primary competitive advantages are uncommon – made more so because of their unique interconnectedness. It’s not just a single driver or difference, it’s an assembly of unconventional features that so distinctively sets Kimberley apart.
The collection of natural attributes, combined with recreation opportunities and sound infrastructure in such close proximity enhance the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life.
People in Kimberley make a living in a variety of ways, but an increasing number are choosing self employment. There was 6.5% growth in the number of business licenses from 2012 - 2013, and 76% growth from 2007-2013. The fastest growing business categories are:
- Business services (i.e. serving other businesses)
- Professional services (including those regulated by professional associations)
- Wholesalers (those selling consumer goods to retail businesses)
- Retail stores
- Arts, artisans, and musicians (as well as entertainment in general)
Retailers and other consumer-oriented businesses in Kimberley are focused on delivering unique, niche products and high-quality customer service. With the regional service hub located in nearby Cranbrook, successful Kimberley retail businesses cater to the preferences of locals (Kimberley and Cranbrook) as well as the visitor population.
Whatever the business, it is likely aligned with the values that the community holds and aspires to, including outdoor pursuits, natural materials, and an authentic experience not commonly found in box stores.