Major Industries in BC

The major industries in British Columbia are forestry, fishery, construction, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.

Major Industries

Farming is a major industry in British Columbia with a total of more than 20,000 farms. There are different farm types, including cattle, folder and hay crop, pony and horse, and fruit farms. Construction is also a major industry and major trades include painting, sheet metal work, cabinet making, glazing, and metal fabrication. Other trades are roofing, heavy equipment operation, welding, plumbing, electrical, and carpentry. The manufacturing industry is also well-developed in British Columbia, with manufacturers operating in different sectors such as transportation equipment, appliances and electronical equipment, machinery, and fabricated metal products. Other manufacturing sectors include textile product mills, beverage and tobacco products, rubber products and plastics, and others. In addition to farming, construction, and manufacturing, major industries in BC are also high technology, mining, and film and television.

Starting a Small Business in One of the Major Industries

The choice of industry is an important factor and so are location, target market, permits and legal documentation, competitors in the area, and budget and sources of external financing. If you want to start a farm, for example, the first thing to do is to find a good niche, whether a fruit or poultry farm or organic farming. You also need to buy or lease farmland unless you already own land. If you plan to start a construction business, it is important to learn more about health and safety standards, industry regulations, business permits and licenses, and other details. Once you have a clear idea about what you want to do, the next step is to write a good business plan. This is especially important if you plan to apply for a government-sponsored loan or a loan by a major credit union, bank, or another financial establishment. The content and details to cover depend on your niche and sector but it is a good idea to have sections such as market analysis, products and services, company description, and strategy and implementation. A good market analysis section, for example, includes details such as projected, current, and historical marketing data, industry outlook and description, demographics, target market, and so on.


The next step is to find affordable financing for your business, which can be a secured   or unsecured business loan  by a credit union or bank, government loan, grant, subsidy, or funding by a non-government organization. Government-sponsored loans are offered under the Canada Small Business Loan Program, which is a good place to start when looking for a low-cost loan. Examples of eligible expenditures include non-refundable taxes, installation and transportation, trade-in equipment, and others. There are ineligible expenses such as goodwill, franchise fees, business plans and feasibility studies, building permits, and barters and exchanges. A second option is to apply for a loan with a credit union, finance company, or bank. Major banks, for example, feature start-up and business loans with fixed and floating rates and terms of up to 15 years for secured loans and up to 10 years for unsecured loans. Business loans are offered by major banks such as the National Bank, TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank of Canada, and others. They offer the fully array of financial solutions, including commercial mortgages, business credit cards, business lines of credit, and more.