Regional Pilot Communities in the Cariboo

Located in central B.C., the Cariboo region covers much of the northern interior of the province, ranging from the Cariboo plateau in the west to the valleys of the Cariboo and Rocky Mountain ranges. It is an area of three distinct worlds – deserts and canyons; evergreen forests; and alpine mountains and glaciers. People who live here enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and a wide range of recreational activities. These include fishing, boating, hiking and biking in the summer months, and skiing and snowmobiling during the winter.

Following the path of the Fraser River up to the Cariboo Plateau and Mountains, this diverse countryside was once Gold Rush country. Today, industries such as mining and oil and gas extraction, as well as health care and social assistance, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and accommodation and food services continue to play a strong role in the area's economy.


Participating communities in the Cariboo region:

100 Mile House

Community Description:
100 Mile House has the skilled workforce to support a varied manufacturing sector, and has identified areas in which new entrepreneurs may complement existing manufacturers. The community is seeking food processing and manufacturing businesses to support the agriculture industry. 100 Mile House is also looking for seniors’ services, architectural engineering services and trades-related training (computer and management training do not qualify).

Extensive business supports are available through the local provincial and municipal government offices, Community Futures, and the Chamber of Commerce. There is a strong local culture of entrepreneurship and a community organization offers settlement services. Diversity and multiculturalism are present in 100 Mile House’s current workforce and community.

100 Mile House is a welcoming community surrounded by nature and featuring activities for all ages. Short commutes, a lack of rush hour traffic, and a variety of safe neighborhoods are all reasons why entrepreneurs choose this community. 100 Mile House is located within five hours of several major B.C. cities, and offers work life balance, outdoor recreation, sports and clubs for all ages, a public school system that includes French immersion, and a hospital with 24-hour emergency services. It also has a relocation guide to support new residents and their families, including entrepreneurs seeking new employees.

100 Mile House anticipates continued growth in residential construction, tourism and the manufacturing sector creating opportunities in other sectors. 100 Mile House’s economic development strategy will help the community’s economy to become even more resilient, grow its economic diversification base, all while maintaining an exceptional quality of life.

Priority Sectors:
6115 - Technical and Trade schools
311 - Food manufacturing
6216 - Home health care services
339 - Miscellaneous manufacturing
5413 - Architectural, engineering and related services

Population: 1,980



Mackenzie will be temporarily pausing intake for the EI Regional Pilot effective December 10, 2021. We will update this page when the community is ready to consider new business proposals. 

Community Description:
Mackenzie is looking for entrepreneurs to create businesses that will support its established forestry industry, as well as its tourism, oil and gas, and mining industries. Mackenzie is also looking to diversify its economy by expanding its agricultural sector.

Mackenzie has a Chamber of Commerce that meets to share ideas on how to support local businesses. The district also supports its local entrepreneurs with shop local and business improvement programs.

 A great place to live and work, Mackenzie maintains a high quality of life for its residents. It is a safe and resilient community with first-class municipal recreation facilities, outdoor recreation opportunities, and a variety of health services and community programs.

It is the mission of the District of Mackenzie to support the community’s lifestyle and to improve the services and opportunities available to residents and visitors. Mackenzie aims to maintain a healthy environment and to promote economic conditions that allow for businesses and individuals to flourish and maximize their potential, while providing quality services, programs, and executive and administrative leadership.

Priority Sectors:
1153 - Support activities for forestry
1151 - Support activities for crop production
2131 - Support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction
7211 - Traveller accommodation
7225 - Full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places

Population: 3,380

Prince George 

Prince George is looking for entrepreneurs in the household furniture and wood product manufacturing and warehousing and building leasing industries. The city welcomes entrepreneurs with expertise in establishing and managing warehouse facilities and distribution centers.

Prince George fosters a start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem that helps local companies grow and expand. It maintains a list of community resources for entrepreneurs and hosts events designed to spur entrepreneurship, remove barriers for expansion, and create networking and mentorship opportunities.
Centrally located and the northern-most urban centre in B.C., Prince George offers a low cost of living, short commutes, education, and healthcare. Prince George has endless amenities, shopping, arts and entertainment for indoor and outdoor enthusiasts.
Prince George has developed from a mainly forest-based economy to a city that has diversified its economic base, driven by a strong natural resource base, supplying goods and services for a broad range of sectors. Prince George will continue to strengthen its local economy by focusing on attracting and retaining businesses, and increasing its workforce capacity.

Priority Sectors:
337123 - Other wood household furniture manufacturing
337121 - Upholstered household furniture manufacturing
32199 - All other wood product manufacturing
493110 General Warehousing
531120 Leasing non-residential buildings

Population: 82,290


Quesnel will be temporarily pausing intake for the Regional Pilot effective November 17, 2021.  We will update this page when Quesnel’s pause ends, and the community is ready to consider new business proposals.


Williams Lake

Williams Lake is seeking entrepreneurs to provide amenities and services for both their community residents and the large population of the surrounding region.  There is demand for professional service businesses, education services for children, youth and families, as well as new restaurant and food services to feed residents, workers, and tourists.

Williams Lake’s welcoming and supportive business community helps establish new ventures. There are many organizations who are well positioned to assist with location scouting, the business license process, and compliance with health and safety standards.

Williams Lake has unbeatable recreation opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and great outdoors. There is a newly renovated recreation complex, welcoming public schools, a Thompson Rivers University Campus, and a regional airport. You can enjoy a laid-back lifestyle with no traffic congestion to interrupt your day.

Williams Lake anticipates a growing housing market and welcoming more commercial investment to the community. With a well-established industrial workforce, residents enjoy a high-quality lifestyle and a high average income. Residents are great supporters of local businesses, as demonstrated by the community’s active and robust “shop local” movement.
Priority Sectors:
561- Administrative and support services
611- Educational services
722 - Food services and drinking places
Population: 11,559

This page was last updated on August 11, 2022.