Doing Business

Charlottetown has ranked impressively in the newly released KPMG International City Competitiveness Index, developed in partnership with Invest in Canada.

The City Competitiveness Index utilizes multi-dimensional analysis regarding 12 different types of business personas including Back Office operations, Capital intensive Manufacturing, Corporate Office, Data Centre, Digital Development Operations, Distribution Centre, Engineering & Related Services, Food Processing, Media & Entertainment Production, Research & Development – Tangible Products, System Assembly & Manufacturing, and Technology Intensive Manufacturing. These personas help profile the cost structure and other attributes prevalent for a category of operations.

The rankings are divided by Major (population over 2 million), and Midsize (population under 2 million) cities. Charlottetown in included in the midsize cities category where it consistently ranked in the top 10 in most categories.

For more information on the KPMG study, visit https://citycompetitivenessindex.kpmg.com/home

Charlottetown’s economy continues to grow. The Conference Board of Canada has reported that from 2005 to 2020 that Charlottetown created more than 7,300 jobs, and generated positive real GDP growth in every single year, including the economic slowdown of 2008 and 2009.

International consulting firm KPMG has consistently ranked Charlottetown as one of the lowest cost business centers in North America. This high-value location for commerce has proven cost advantages in business services, specialized manufacturing, and bio-technology among other areas.

Our workforce is a loyal one:

50% of our workforce has post-secondary training
Average job tenure is 8.5 years
43% of our workers have been with the same company for more than 6 years.
Only 8.8% of the private sector is unionized.
Days lost per worker is the lowest in Canada.
Average compensation for Chartered Accountant: PEI – $75,000; Toronto – $140,000
Average ITC salary – $52,000
Junior coders $40,000, senior coders $75,000
Average call center wage -$11/hr, $20,500
Average financial services transaction process $15/hr

Key Sectors


Boasting a highly skilled workforce, Charlottetown offers a low-cost, high-value business environment, world-class training institutions, and is home to Charlottetown Airport with easy access to significant markets.


One of the fastest growing sectors in the city, key partners are working together to strategically grow an already impressive list of companies, research entities, institutions and talent that have invested in Charlottetown. This sector has been referred to as PEI’s “oil sands” and key institutions such as the National Research Council, the University of Prince Edward Island and companies including Novartis Animal Health and Bio-Vectra have invested heavily in Charlottetown.


Players in the global financial services sector have made Charlottetown their home. They have found that business cost advantages and available skilled labour have made Charlottetown the right choice for investment. They not only thrive here, but look to grow, and add to their employee base. New companies are arriving each year specializing in credit card processing, client relations, fund administration, technical assistance, and other function areas.


A key focus of infrastructure investment in recent years, Charlottetown has seen a wide variety of new technology companies established. The Atlantic Technology Centre in Charlottetown is a proven incubator for up and coming industry participants. Included among new sub-sectors is the tremendous growth of the computer gaming industry which has shown explosive growth world-wide.


Charlottetown is a harbourside tourism destination bursting with entertainment, nightlife, beaches and the best golf in the nation. All of these amenities draw high quality meetings and conventions to Charlottetown. The primary convention facility is the Delta Prince Edward, and conferences up to 1,500 can be accommodated.


Tourism represents the Island’s largest service industry export and maintains the status as the largest sector in the province. The completion of the Confederation Bridge in 1997 has had a profound effect on the tourism industry and has changed the life of travellers to Prince Edward Island forever. Charlottetown is the proud home of the Charlottetown Festival and the perennial Mainstage production of Anne of Green Gables which has charmed generations of theatre-goers. The city’s tourism industry has fueled a vibrant service sector providing a wide variety of restaurants/nightlife and entertainment.

Tax Incentives

The City of Charlottetown has established a suite of tax incentives designed to assist and encourage property development in knowledge economy sectors, downtown commercial growth, and re-development of non-conforming properties. Call us and we will be very interested to discuss your future opportunities here in Charlottetown. The objective of the tax Incentive Strategy is to encourage the expansion and/or rejuvenation of commercial properties within the City of Charlottetown. The Strategy is directly aimed at enhancing and maintaining the vitality of commercial properties in the city which will augment the tax base of the future.

Incentives are designed to encourage investment in three areas:

  • New construction or redevelopment for businesses in the bio-technology, financial services, and IT sectors
  • Re-development of existing commercial properties for commercial purposes
  • Re-location of non-conforming businesses to more appropriate locations

The program provides tax rebates over a five year period based on the increased assessment portion of the property. The rebates are based on municipal taxation only.

View Tax Incentive Strategy PDF

The Province of Prince Edward Island offers many programs for prospective business including:

25%, 1 year Innovation and Development Labour Rebate (IDLR)
7.5% 10 year labour rebate for eligible financial service/BPO/IT companies
$6/sf space rental rebate
Bioscience, Aerospace and Marine sectors – Provincial corporate income tax rebate programs
Real Property Tax rebates

The Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency offers assistance to new and expanding businesses: