Frequently Asked Questions


What does VEC (Vancouver Economic Commission) do?

The Vancouver Economic Commission is the economic development agency for the City of Vancouver, and we act in service of Vancouver’s economic well-being:

  • We monitor the state of Vancouver’s economy and share knowledge so people – including policymakers – can make informed decisions about economic issues.
  • We connect people and support collaborations so people can build the relationships they need to act on economic opportunities.
  • We deliver programs and initiatives to help transform systems, businesses, and policies.
  • We support the City of Vancouver’s and Vancouver City Council’s economic priorities.

It may help to think of us as an organization that incubates and delivers projects and programs designed to improve the health and resilience of Vancouver’s local economy. We have been described as a think tank, an investment attraction agency, and a business development organization, and our services overlap with all three.

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What is economic development?

Economic development relates to activities conducted with the aim of improving the economic well-being of a community and may also refer to the outcomes of these activities. Economic development can vary significantly based on the size, values and other needs of the city and nation. In Vancouver, we are more focused on issues of resilience, equity, capital access, enterprise competitiveness and profitability, and business and worker conditions – particularly factors that affect our ability to transition our economy into being inclusive, net-zero-emitting, and equitable.

Read more about how we do economic development, how you can get involved, and what it looks like in Vancouver.

What is economic transformation?

Economic transformation is a key driver of economic development and refers to the process of gradually and systematically improving the economy by translating lower-value systems, resources, and activities into higher-value ones.

Another way to think of economic transformation is to think of it as the process of moving the economy and its diverse systems from its current state to a future state.


What are some of the major sectors and other content-areas that VEC focuses on?

Rather than sectors, our team determines our work plan based on our annual corporate plan, Vancouver City Council’s economic priorities, and several other factors. Foremost, we consider prospective projects through our mandate to build a strong, zero-carbon, resilient economy that brings prosperity for all in Vancouver, and that remains competitively positioned in the global context.

Our four corporate pledges are values that guide how we prioritize the highest and best use of our resources.

  1. Local Focus, Local Support
  2. Prioritizing Climate Action
  3. Indigenous Economic Prosperity
  4. Prosperity for All

Can VEC help me get a permit?

We do not typically provide permitting support to businesses. It is recommended that you get a local expert of the permitting process – such as a contractor, architect, etc. – to support you in your application to the City.

For more information:

App Electronic Chat Phone
Download Van311 Find the electronic chat function in the footer 3-1-1
+1 (604) 873-7000
7:00am to 10:00pm daily

Does VEC offer grants or other funding?

VEC does not offer grants. However, most VEC-led programs, resources and services are provided at no cost to successful applicants or registrants. When we do charge fees for projects or programming participation, these are calculated on a strictly cost-recovery basis.

Does VEC help with finding jobs?

We do not presently have any career or job matchmaking events planned, nor do we have plans to revive our annual Digital Entertainment Careers Fair. If you are a job seeker, then you may wish to check out some of the various local job boards and resources instead, including (but not limited) to these ones:

The Vancouver Public Library also has some great resources on how to find and keep track of local job fairs.

Does VEC help with tax relief?

VEC does not administer any tax credits. However, we curate and highlight notable programs under the “Government and Ecosystem Support” sections of our profiles of key industries in Vancouver, and in other sections of our website. Businesses and investors seeking information on additional tax relief programs may reach out to our team or refer to the following guides from us and our collaborators.

Vancouver Cross-Border Investment Guide | Key Industries | How can we help?

Corporate profile

Are you part of the City of Vancouver?

We are a COV-funded and -governed not-for-profit agency incorporated under the British Columbia Societies Act. As we receive our core funding from the municipal government, however, our board of directors is comprised of the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, and Chief Financial Officer of the City of Vancouver. We are further directed in our priorities by Mayor and Council, who serve as Honourary members of the VEC Board.

Our Board

How are you funded? Are you funded by the City of Vancouver? How do you finance your projects and programs?

The City of Vancouver funds our core services and operations.

VEC staff also raise additional funds from other corporate, government and not-for-profit entities to produce projects and programming relevant to our mandate. We seek out funders and partners who share our vision for a strong, resilient, and zero-carbon economy that is prosperous for all in Vancouver.

Are you a non-profit?

Yes, the Vancouver Economic Commission is a registered not-for-profit society incorporated under the BC Societies Act.

How can we work together?

If you are interested in learning more about what we do and how we can align, reach out to one of our team members or approach us at an event – we are a friendly bunch – to start a conversation.

I am interested in funding or otherwise supporting a project or program.

Depending on the program, you may:

I am interested in collaborating on research together.

Please begin start by checking out our Economic Transformation Lab initiative. We also occasionally take on post-graduate scholars whose capstone projects or proposed theses align with our work. Refer to the Greenest City Scholar Program.

I am interested in becoming a project partner.

Please reach out to the relevant team member, or email to begin a conversation.

I’d like a letter of support for my initiative / project proposal / grant application.

We occasionally supply letters of support based on the strength of the project application, the relevance of the project to our mandate, and our knowledge of its topic area. Please reach out to the team member most aligned with your work. If you have a briefing and draft letter prepared, that may help speed things up!

I need support! Where do I go?

I’d like permitting support.

For anything related to business permitting or developments, please refer to the City of Vancouver’s permit application and management resource page.

I’d like business relocation support.

For all other queries, visit our How can we help? page.