While over the past several months, a handful of local businesses have announced they are shuttering their doors, some sighting inflation as the cause, City officials say that it is too early in the year to determine objectively how businesses have fared in 2023.

The City of Airdrie is slated to release its annual 2023 Growth Report next month - which will highlight key metrics that measure development and change, as well as help to predict future growth.

In comparing the previous year to 2021, there has been a slow in business licences in both the home-based sector as well as the non-resident sector; while commercial licences increased slightly. 

Business licence growth since 2018. (Graphic credit to City of Airdrie Business Licencing)Business licence growth since 2018. (Graphic credit to City of Airdrie Business Licencing)

The 2022 Growth Report highlighted that, 'Airdrie has experienced an eight per cent increase in Commercial business licences since 2017 and an impressive five per cent year-over-year increase reported for 2021.'

A graphic from the 2022 Growth Report illustrating business licence activity in the city. (Graphic credit to City of Airdrie)A graphic from the 2022 Growth Report illustrating business licence activity in the city. (Graphic credit to City of Airdrie)

The Airdrie Business Survey conducted early in early 2022 cited that from those queried, 80 per cent feel confident in their business´ level of resiliency to operate and survive through any short-term crises or economic downturns that may arise over the next 2-5 years.

However, when comparing business licence cancellations between 2021 and 2022, there has been an increase in licence cancellations. City officials did clarify, however, that all businesses operating in the city are required to have a business licence, which is renewed on a yearly basis and the cancellation of a business licence may not automatically mean a business has closed down.

"These numbers include businesses that may have cancelled their licence due to the sale of the business or a change of ownership, or due to a relocation of the business outside of Airdrie. Home-based business licence numbers tend to fluctuate as the circumstances of individuals operating part-time businesses may change from year-to-year," a city official wrote in an email.

In 2022 a total of 347 licences were cancelled, with the vast majority - 287 - being home-based businesses. 60 were classified as commercial, which encompasses all storefront, industrial, retail, and other office businesses.

In 2021, there were a total of 326 business licence cancellations, the majority of them also home-based - 280. Commercial businesses that cancelled their licences were counted at 46. Comparing 2021 to 2022, last year saw 21 more cancellations than the previous year. And although there were overall more home-based business licence cancellations; commercial businesses saw a steeper increase of business licence cancellations year-to-year. 

"Airdrie Economic Development reaches out to all businesses experiencing a closure to connect with the owners and find out how they can be supported," the City said.

Statistics for business licence cancellations for 2023 are not yet available as the City said that many of the cancellations are noted when the businesses don’t renew their licences annually.

Local businesses that have closed down or moved in recent months include Taffeta & Tulle Bridal, Homegrown House and Pantry Inc., Fitzsimmons Brewing Company, Toad 'n' Turtle Pubhouse & Grill, as well as Suzanna's, and SkyeFire Bakery.

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