Three reasons 2018 was an exciting year to invest in Halifax

Posted: January 14, 2019

More people chose Halifax as a place to call home.

More people from around the world are choosing Halifax to study, work, and put down roots. In 2018, international post-secondary enrolment saw another strong year, reaching over 6,700 students. Halifax also saw its second straight year of strong population growth, growing by 1.6% from 424,950 to 431,701.

Immigration was key driver of this growth as numbers to date show we welcomed more than 5,925 newcomers. The past two years have been the best for immigration growth in the city’s history.

More places opened their doors for people to come together.

In the heart of our city is a walkable and connected cluster of companies, post-secondary, risk capital and government in Halifax’s emerging innovation district. This year, we saw significant investments in spaces that will bring industries and innovators of all kinds together to create new and better ways of doing things, including Volta Labs, the IDEA Project and COVE.

During the summer, tech hub Volta tripled in size to open 60,000 square feet space, becoming one of Canada’s largest hubs for entrepreneurs and innovators. This new space spans three floors and provides space for resident companies, corporate innovation outposts, events and meetings.

In October, the IDEA hub transformed Dalhousie University’s century-plus old campus into a modern centre for collaborative learning, research, design and innovation. This advanced engineering incubation and prototyping space is designed to generate new ideas and encourage more hands-on work and collaboration across disciplines and with private industry.

The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) also opened its doors as the only world-class facility of its kind where start-up companies, small and medium sized enterprises, large firms and post-secondary expertise are housed together to develop ocean technology. Today, more than 30 companies work out of COVE and benefit from collaborative spaces, shared equipment, workshops, programs, services, and direct ocean access on the Halifax Harbour.

Businesses are confident about investing in Halifax.

From startups to global brands, more companies are choosing Halifax as a location to invest and grow their business. RBC opened their first digital advice centre with a focus on hiring youth, EY announced a new global centre of excellence for robotic process automation and Manulife committed to expanding to create up to 600 additional positions in Halifax.

In 2018, the Business Confidence Index for Halifax reached an all-time high, marking the fourth straight year of gains. Simply put, of 300 businesses surveyed, 85% said that they were either extremely or moderately optimistic about their current and future economic prospects. We also saw record high percentages of businesses planning to hire additional staff, and make a major investment in facilities, equipment or R&D.

For more Information:

If you are interested in learning more about Halifax's competitive advantages, and opportunities for your business, please contact:

Hector Fraser
Account Executive, Investment Attraction—Innovation
Halifax Partnership
hfraser@halifaxpartnership.com

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