BizHub is a 500-acre mega-project that targets businesses such as distribution, transportation and manufacturing companies that need a large footprint of land
For more than 40 years, Concorde Group of Companies has been a part of the growth and development of Saskatoon. Starting with a land purchase in 1961, the family-owned company acquired and managed residential and commercial properties, a produce packaging plant, a trucking company and restaurant.
Under the direction of President and CEO David Dube, who purchased the company from his parents in 1996, the Concorde Group has grown into diversified Saskatoon-based conglomerate with more than 600 employees and holdings in real estate, restaurants, finance and the food industry across the province of Saskatchewan and other provinces in western Canada.
Now the company is embarking on its boldest venture yet – the development of the largest industrial park in the history of the province. Called BizHub, the 500-acre mega project targets businesses that need a large footprint of land such as distribution centres, lumberyards, manufacturing firms and transportation companies. Located along the Yellowhead highway on the north side of Saskatoon, all lots are a minimum of five acres with paved industrial roads and services that include water, electricity and natural gas.
“It took two and half years of negotiation to make the project happen, but we built out the first phase in just over a year…we’ve had a lot of interest and uptake,” said David Dube.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, the Saskatoon region has one of the most diversified economies in Canada. Mining, energy, and agriculture dominate the economic landscape, creating demand for local metal goods and machinery for production, and providing the raw materials for the food-processing sector.
International cost competiveness and expansion of local goods production is also creating opportunities for the transportation and distribution industry, as 85% of local manufacturers export globally.
Foreign Direct Investment magazine, a Financial Times publication, selected Saskatoon as a top 10 North American “City of the Future” and the number one small city with the “Best Economic Potential”.
The City of Saskatoon and surrounding towns and rural municipalities offer companies in targeted industrial sectors significant tax abatement incentives. These incentives encourage expansion or location of operations, and facilitate long-term skilled or semi-skilled job creation. The aim is to create an attractive environment for new businesses and also demonstrates a commitment to local industry. Incentives include, but are not limited to, tax abatements, waiving of utility deposits, and exemptions or reductions of prepaid servicing levies.
Over most of the past decade, Canada has been a top performer among the G7 countries for its economic growth. In 2008, at US$1.5 trillion, Canada’s economy is the world’s 11th largest (as measured by GDP), rivaling leading destinations of foreign direct investments such a Brazil, India and Russia. Canada has more Financial Times Top 500 companies than does Germany, Spain or India.
As the global economy recovers, Canada is poised to lead advanced countries out of the recession. The IMF forecasts Canada’s growth rate at 2.6% for 2010 and 3.6% for 2011, well above the growth rates in other G7 countries or advanced economies.
Future growth plans
When asked what’s next for Concorde Group, CEO David Dube said, “BizHub is going to take our attention for quite some time. In Saskatchewan, the economy slowed, but we didn’t stop and we didn’t lose ground, and that’s a tremendous confidence boost for business.
“There is going to be steady growth and this more sustainable in the long run. It will enable us to keep up from an infrastructure and regulatory standpoint, and allow us to make prudent decisions not done in haste.”
He added, “I have never felt as optimistic about Saskatchewan as I do today. For 75 years, my great-grandparents, my grandparents, and my parents talked about the province’s potential. Today it’s happening and it’s a great feeling to be part of it.”
Concorde Group of Companies
+1 (306) 668-3004
Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority
+1 (306) 664-0720