As the second-largest region in the province, Nechako is an area of vast wilderness and vibrant communities full of resource and business development potential. It extends from the centre of the province up to the Yukon border and is separated from the Northeast region by the Rocky Mountains. The landscape is dotted with thousands of lakes, rugged mountains, glaciers, valleys and plateaus and is home to bears, caribou and moose.
Natural resources, particularly mining and forestry, play a critical role in the area’s economy and many companies are actively exploring for minerals in the area. As the region has grown in popularity for its natural resources, ecotourism and lifestyle advantages, the economy has evolved and diversified.
The town of Smithers was originally a hub for the mineral exploration industry, with a large cluster of drilling, expediting and related support industries. In recent years, Smithers has diversified its economy where the city now has the second highest number of PhD’s per capita in the province and is home to four locally started $50 million-dollar companies with headquarters in the town. Smithers continues to grow and attract young families and retirees drawn to economic opportunities and the amenities and services found in the Bulkley Valley, including quality medical facilities, great schools, world-class outdoor recreation opportunities, and a vibrant arts and culture scene. The Smithers airport keeps the town connected to the rest of the province with daily flights to Vancouver.
Burns Lake is the gateway to Tweedsmuir Park and home to Boer Mountain, a premier destination for mountain biking in northern BC. There are many opportunities in retail and hospitality services to support the area’s tourism sector. The Lakes District area around Burns Lake has commercial and industrial properties with some of the lowest costs in the Province. These properties are well connected to major roadways, rail services and port access that provide bulk shipping capacity to North America. Housing in the area is affordable with short commute times and year-round recreational opportunities that make it easy to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Vanderhoof blends agrarian charm with business infrastructure. It is the region’s manufacturing and business hub with new and improved local airport infrastructure, recreation programs and community partnerships contribute to a sustainable and diversified economy. With growth in mineral exploration and mining in the Stuart Nechako Region, Vanderhoof is situated for continued growth. The town offers affordable housing, reasonable tax rates, great education, superior health services, access to government services and a strong retail and service sector.
For investors seeking an active community that cares about the environment and is working to create a sustainable future, the Nechako region is more than a place to work – it’s a place to put down roots, a town with a quality of life that is simply exceptional. Learn more about economic development opportunities and supports from organizations like Community Futures, the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako and the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society.
You can also visit our communities page or contact the regional representative. Stay tuned for future blogs on other regions of British Columbia, and follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter for regular updates.
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