The Sunshine Coast economy has seen a three-decades transition from a forestry and fishing based economy, to a more diverse economy with construction trades, business services, retail and tourism becoming prominent.
The forestry, construction trades and business services sectors are comprised of many small and medium-sized businesses. Hence, while they form significant portions of the economy, they are under-represented in a list of large employers. Howe Sound Pulp and Paper is the exception. The forestry and construction sectors are largely made up of firms with 20-60 employees.
|Health Care||Vancouver Coastal Health Authority||Hospital and health care||610|
|Education||School District 46||Public school board||500|
|Forest Products||Howe Sound Pulp & Paper||Kraft pulp||325|
|Transportation||BC Ferries||Ferry service (2 terminals)||275|
|Government||Sunshine Coast Regional District||Regional government||250|
|Retail||IGA||Groceries (3 stores)||200|
|Health Care||Good Samaritan Society –
|Assisted living and care facility||90|
|Banking||Sunshine Coast Credit Union||Banking||75|
|Mining||Lehigh Materials||Gravel extraction||60|
|Retail||Extra Foods||Grocery and gas bar||80|
|Forestry||Terminal Forest Products||Logs, fuels, lumber||100|
|Business Services||Emerge Design||Workplace / Interior Design|
|Business Services||Gibsons Public Market||Meeting venue with in-house catering|
|Hospitality||Persephone Brewing||Craft brewery and hops farm|
|Hospitality||Gibsons Tapworks||Craft brewery|
|Hospitality||101 Brewhouse & Distillery||Craft brewery, distillery and restaurant|
|Personal Services||Run for Your Lives||Personal training, fitness|
|Personal Services||Share-There Enterprises||Ride share network|
|Recreation||Blue Ocean Golf Club||Golf club and restaurant|
|Recreation||Coast Gravity Park||Mountain biking facility|
|Recreation||The Hangar Climbing Lounge||Indoor “bouldering” and climbing facility|
|Retail||Coast Naturals||Natural foods and pharmacy|
|Sales & Manufacturing||Eco-Freako||Organic personal, baby and home care products|
|Tourism||FUNtastic Hikes & Tours||Custom walking / hiking tours|
|Tourism||Gibsons Harbour Ferry||Scheduled ferry service to Keats Island; charter tours|
|Tourism||Pacific Ferries||Scheduled harbour-to-harbour commuter ferry; tours|
|Transportation||Suncoast Air||Scheduled floatplane service to Nanaimo & YVR; charter tours|
New business growth is predominately in the retail and services sectors. The success of Persephone Brewing has resulted in a “cluster” of similar businesses springing up in the Gibsons area in recent months, resulting in notice by BC Ale Trail marketing and national publications. Other retail growth is spurred by growing tourism volumes, population growth and increased local shopping by residents.
The home-based business sector is also growing rapidly. Many professionals, often with international markets, provide services or execute trade from home offices. There has been strong growth in non-storefront professional services, including marketing, architectural design, IT services, investment and finance, book publishing and a variety of consulting services.
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