Rural economies are founded on their people and communities.

Most businesses in the county are small with less than 50 employees; retention and support for existing businesses are ongoing and responsive. We value entrepreneurship and fully embrace it as an economic driver.

In Lanark County, our potential is endless because we prioritize actualizing economic opportunities for everyone.

Reasons to love doing business in Lanark County:

  1. Lanark County has a business culture that encourages, embraces, and celebrates innovation.
  2. There is no wrong door approach in Lanark County between local business support providers; we pride ourselves on our powerful network built to support entrepreneurship.
  3. Local economic and community strategies work in harmony with provincial and federal initiatives to reduce barriers to business.
  4. Lanark County has an Innovation Centre that acts as a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs to access advice, capital, and business support services to start, grow, innovate and thrive.
  5. In Lanark County, bordering Ottawa, the nation’s capital, you will find significantly lower occupancy costs without sacrificing access to the broader customer base of approximately 1.4 million people residing in the greater Ottawa area.
  6. Lanark County offers affordable living, tight-knit communities and low crime rates, making it a desirable location to establish and run a business.

As of June 2023, Lanark County has demonstrated significant growth in its business landscape, with a total of 7,117 businesses, an increase from 6,495 in 2020. These businesses range widely in size, from solo entrepreneurs to large enterprises employing more than 500 people. The majority of these businesses are small-scale operations, with a significant portion having less than 50 employees, underscoring the entrepreneurial spirit of the region.

Mississippi Mills has the largest number of employers with 442, but Perth has the highest concentration of employers with 55 per 1,000 population. Perth is home to 69 retail trade firms with employees, 43 healthcare establishments, 35 accommodation and food services establishments and 34 professional services firms. Conversely, 74 professional services firms have employees in Mississippi Mills, 50 in personal services, 64 in the construction sector, and 49 in retail trade. Mississippi Mills and Perth also have the most significant number of manufacturing firms, with 20 each, followed by Carleton Place (17) and Smiths Falls (15).

Lanark County has much higher employment in fabricated metal manufacturing compared to the country overall. There is also a higher concentration of workers in nursing care facilities, restaurants, and several retail trade sub-sectors.

As a rural area, businesses located in Lanark County benefit from the support of a local Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC), Valley Heartland. CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services in rural communities to support small businesses starting or expanding in the community, supporting the favourable business climate in Lanark County.