Regional communities in the Cariboo

Last updated: May 27, 2024

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:
311 - Food manufacturing
312140 - Distilleries
321999 - All other miscellaneous wood product manufacturing
339 - Miscellaneous manufacturing
5413 - Architectural, engineering and related services

Population: 1,980


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:
722 – Food services and drinking places
1151 – Support activities for crop production
1153 - Support activities for forestry
2131 - Support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction
3121 – Beverage manufacturing
4931- Warehousing and storage
5322 – Consumer goods rental
5411 – Legal services
6116 – Other schools and instruction
7139 – Other amusement and recreation industries
7211 - Traveller accommodation
7212 – Recreational vehicle (RV) parks and recreational camps

Population: 3,380



Community Description
Quesnel is open to a diverse range of businesses. Forestry and agriculture are high priorities with opportunities for support activities. Quesnel has a growing need for home and household care, private nursing, massage therapy, respite services, and other health care professions. Quesnel is also seeking a variety of educational businesses, such as a flight school or training in innovative forestry practices. 
The City of Quesnel maintains a strong partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, and WorkBC. The City manages a shop local program supporting independently owned businesses. It also offers various incentive programs, and has the resources to keep connected with the business community, ensuring the necessary supports and services are available.
Quesnel is one of the most affordable cities in British Columbia, allowing you to live a balanced lifestyle. It is surrounded by lakes and rivers, with well-maintained trail networks for year-round outdoor recreation, parks and playgrounds throughout the city, and indoor facilities for leisure activities and organized sports. Its annual volunteer-run festival, Billy Barker Days, brings the community together and attracts visitors.
The City of Quesnel’s economic development transition strategy has three key pillars: destination development, innovative resource industries, and resident and investment retention and attraction. This strategy will support the business community, improve infrastructure, diversify the economy, strengthen partnerships with First Nations, attract visitors, and attract and retain residents. 

Priority Sectors:
115 - Support activities for agriculture and forestry
238 - Specialty trade contractors
311 – Food manufacturing
321 - Wood product manufacturing
339 - Miscellaneous manufacturing
541 - Professional, scientific and technical services
611 - Educational services
621 - Ambulatory health care services

Population: 10,356


Williams Lake

Williams Lake will be temporarily pausing intake for the EI Regional Pilot effective May 3rd, 2023. We will update this page when the community is ready to consider new business proposals. 

Community Description
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