Economic Strategy

Investment looks different here

View the new Economic Strategy and learn more about the City’s long term actions to support local economy below.

The City of North Vancouver has adopted an Economic Strategy that will guide our community’s efforts to increase the strength and diversity of our local economy over the immediate to medium-term – at City Hall and within our community – to address challenges the business community faces, take advantage of opportunities we identify, and collaboratively strengthen our local economy.

Pathways and Directions in the Strategy

The Strategy sets out four pathways as priorities for action, along with a series of actions that will be taken within each pathway. The pathways include:

  • Enhance economic space. 
  • Make it easy to do business. 
  • Create world-class, multifunctional public places.
  • Build a future-focused, resilient local economy. 

More information about the four pathways and key actions within each area are outlined below.

As a long-term City strategy, the implementation plan set out in the Economic Strategy outlines an approach to funding and resources; guiding principles for prioritization of actions; an approach to engagement with the business community, subject-matter experts and partnerships; and measures for accountability and outcome metrics.

Part of the City’s Policy Landscape

The Economic Strategy is the latest in a series of City policies to guide our next decade of planning, decision-making, and action in key areas, including Mobility, Public Safety, Parks & Public Space, Infrastructure & Phasing, and upcoming Climate & Environment and Community Wellbeing Strategies. These are in support of the Official Community Plan, Council’s Strategic Plan, Corporate Business Plan, and the City’s Financial Plan.

Enhance economic space

Optimization of employment lands is a critical component of our economic growth strategy. Ensuring space for business investment and expansion to meet current and future local employment and industry needs.

Actions include:

  1. Work with Metro Vancouver to undertake comprehensive employment and institutional land mapping and profiling to understand current land use and future opportunities for densification.
  2. Support the reconsideration of zoning that enables more flexible and dynamic employment use and responds to evolving business opportunities, workspace dynamics and neighbourhood growth. 
  3. Analyze the commercial and industrial composition of existing and emerging economic precincts to help facilitate community-focused economic growth.
  4. Work to incentivize targeted redevelopment that supports mixed-use communities and specific sector scale-up by investigating opportunities related to municipal financial tools, policy and regulatory approaches, and development incentives. 
  5. Pursue the growth of the health economy that increases quality jobs and attracts innovative companies. Leverage existing health assets, centered on Lions Gate Hospital, to pursue opportunities associated with the development of a Health and Bio- Sciences cluster.
  6. Work with City teams involved in transportation-related planning to ensure increased accessibility to economic precincts to support economic growth, advocating for vibrant, functional streets, improved movement of goods, and consideration of commercial parking and curbside management needs. 
  7. Work with interest holders to facilitate economic opportunities associated with creative industries, including arts, culture and digital entertainment, through sector development initiatives, adaptive reuse and activation of designated precincts and vacant space throughout the City.
  8. Form an entrepreneurial team with a mandate to support the revitalization of Central Lonsdale as a unique destination precinct centred on community and commercial vibrancy. 
  9. Work with the business community to identify innovative business models that address operating challenges and increase participation of underrepresented groups. 
  10. Collaborate with City teams and external partners to accelerate opportunities for sustainable transportation options to and from the North Shore.

Make it easy to do business

Setting the conditions in which this can occur. Business growth and viability starts with a facilitating city environment, providing efficient processes and adopting a customer-oriented approach.

Actions include:

  1. Modernize and simplify the business licencing system and processes. 
  2. Support local business health through an enhanced business services package that adds value to existing programming and responds to local issues and needs. 
  3. Adopt a structured, action-oriented outreach to the business community to address identified gaps for support, utilizing business advocacy groups for engagement and evaluation. 
  4. Continue engagement with Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and business organizations to facilitate support to the local business community. 
  5. Support continuous innovation in the delivery of business-focused City services and programs, including through a one-window approach, increased coordination of City departments, and incorporating digital solutions that drive operational efficiencies. 
  6. Evolve the role of the Business Services team to a dedicated Business Support Office to enable City-wide implementation of the “Open for Business” approach through policy development, process improvements, and resource alignment. 
  7. Introduce business service standards and work with City departments to review and revise (where necessary) business-related bylaws and policies, underscored by a commitment to customer service. 
  8. Work with City financial leadership and the business community to better understand cost pressures on small business, and opportunities to reduce costs, including improved inclusion for small-business owners into the City’s annual budget development process.  
  9. Establish an accessible, permanent public feedback mechanism to report regulatory and operating challenges for businesses in the community. 
  10. Build a supportive business climate that advances Indigenous rights, values, interests, and goals, working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to remove systemic barriers and ensure access to economic opportunities, including City procurement processes.
  11. Communicate the City’s “Open for Business” approach through a phased communications strategy with deliberate tools that increase awareness of local goods and services.
  12. Reinforce a stable business operating environment by supporting partner agencies with fraud prevention and community safety, and engaging local businesses in the implementation of safety and risk-reduction activities.

Create world-class, multifunctional public places

In a dense urban environment, economic vibrancy and community health depend on public-realm experiences that enhance connection and integration between where we work and live.

Actions include: 

  1. Capitalize on remote and home-based work opportunities to increase human capital through improved community infrastructure, programming, and professional supports.
  2. Innovate and enhance tools that support business operations bordering on residential neighbourhoods and public spaces to increase positive co-existence and integration. 
  3. Support the ongoing development of the Waterfront District, building on the success of The Shipyards and Lower Lonsdale and exploring unique commercial arrangements that encourage a mix of spaces and innovation of use in the built environment. 
  4. Investigate commercial opportunities to enhance the public realm and support increased quality of place through a Citywide approach that considers both economic growth opportunities and community access while ensuring sound stewardship of public spaces. This includes analyzing outdoor dining and retail uses and other commercial activation and investment in public spaces. 
  5. Identify ways to amplify industry contributions to the community.
  6. Explore the opportunities and feasibility of using of community financing tools, such as tax-increment financing, to support urban redevelopment projects.

Build a future-focused, resilient local economy

Growth industries need a diversified, innovative commercial environment to attract investment and maximize future economic opportunities.

Actions include:

  1. Prioritize the regular collection and analysis of baseline economic data to make informed decisions to guide program and resourcing decisions. 
  2. Support business adaptations and evolution in response to global economic conditions and climate change impacts, including carbon emission reduction programs, circular economy opportunities, and programs that optimize employee transportation.
  3. Work with emergency response partners to ensure business preparedness and identify mitigation measures for adaptation during times of crises, including identification of workforce supports and supply-chain vulnerabilities. 
  4. Attract new businesses and capital by developing a succinct business-focused package that illustrates the City’s value proposition and competitive advantages in high-growth sectors. 
  5. Leverage opportunities to promote the City to domestic and foreign investors in collaboration with Invest Vancouver, as well as other government and industry partners. 
  6. Support the growth of innovative local companies that will attract anchor companies in target sectors, utilizing existing economic assets and institutional partners. 
  7. Maximize opportunities to support companies with low environmental impact and positive social contributions. 
  8. Work with key interest holders and City teams to create a more inclusive and equitable local economy, through a multi-faceted approach that involves education, facilitating access to capital, and supporting policy and systemic reforms. 
  9. Work with City teams to ensure efficient and resilient municipal infrastructure with service levels that minimize commercial disruption. Align capital renewal programs with area-based growth strategies. Incorporate asset investments and enhanced service into the City’s value proposition for investment attraction. 
  10. Improve pathways to relevant business support and advisory programs that may prove challenging to navigate for local business owners. Support access to market expansion programs for targeted sectors through collaboration with public and private sector partners. 
  11. Support the City’s development of an approach to deliver more opportunities for middle income housing that contributes to the attraction and retention of employees in core economic industries. 


Contact Us

Economic Development Team
Phone: 604-982-9675

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