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Investment and Business Opportunities


Helen Arong

Helen Arong’s passion for fashion led her down an entrepreneurial path after moving to Fort McMurray. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Fort McMurray from Prince George 14 years ago.

After working in retail for 16 years she knew she wanted to open her own store. “I had the experience and support from my husband,” says Helen. “I did a lot of research and opened Helen Arong Fine Fashions in 2004.”

Staffing her store was sometimes a problem especially during the boom. “Retail doesn’t pay as much as working in oil and gas. Like a lot of other employers, I lost staff to better paying jobs.”

She says there are lots of opportunities for people who want to own their own business in Fort McMurray. “Fort McMurray is growing and if you have a service that is needed you can have a successful business.”

With a population now exceeding 100,000, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is envisioning a region with a greater diversity of services for its residents. There is a need for retail, commercial and professional services in the region in addition to industrial and supporting businesses.

The Municipality is working on several plans for developing retail, commercial and professional services throughout the region.

Finding labour can be a challenge in some industries. Recruitment and retention issues have improved over the past two years but should be considered when planning to open a business in the region.

More information about starting a business in the region:

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