The Case of a Home Grown High-Tech Sector in a Small Canadian City

Nicole Bruce, Laura Lamb


High-tech firms are associated with innovation and efficiency, and the attraction of such firms is a coveted goal for the economic development of most urban centres. This research examines the location decision factors of high-tech firms in the small Canadian city of Kamloops, British Columbia. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect information from 18 high-tech firms in Kamloops about their reasons for locating in a small city. The data was analysed with quantitative and qualitative techniques. The results indicate that a combination of soft and hard factors was influential in the decision to locate in Kamloops with soft factors associated with quality of life factors dominating the decision. The results also suggest that business supports have played a significant role in the success of some firms. The research results are expected to be valuable to policymakers concerned with economic development in small urban centres.

Keywords: high-tech; economic development; urban development; location theory; Canada

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.