Economics, Economic Development, Feasibility and Business Planning


  • Resource Economics
  • Economic Impacts
  • Social Impacts
  • Benefit Cost Analysis
  • Economic Development
  • Investment Attraction
  • Industry Studies
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Tourism Planning
  • Destination Development
  • Experience Development
  • Nature-based Tourism
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Business Plans
  • Marketing Studies
  • Financial Analysis

Economic Impact Analysis

We employ the principles of micro-economics and financial analysis that assist client understanding of baseline conditions and the implications of project, program and policy developments.

The analytical frameworks include social benefit/cost analysis, multiple accounts analysis, economic impact analysis and financial analysis, highlighting the distribution of benefits and costs which may be interpreted in monetary and non-monetary terms. These assessments are designed to assist our clients with investment decisions, program and policy development, regulatory and permitting processes, mitigation, follow-up and monitoring plans, and other situations where an understanding of the economic and financial implications of a decision is required.

The impact work Lions Gate conducts frequently includes socio-community and cultural dimensions. Socio-Economic Impact Assessment is the systematic framework used to identify and evaluate the potential impacts of regional and local economic change in respect of public and social services, community infrastructure, emergency services, housing and social stresses, as well as cultural/heritage values.

Land Use Planning. Lions Gate consultants have a long and successful track record assisting government agencies determine the potential effects of wide area land and resource management plans, small area plans, establishment or expansion of parks and protected areas, changes in the allocation of Crown lands or tenure policy.

Marine Planning. The effects of marine plans can be complex given the non-point interactions between economic activity and the marine environment, overlapping jurisdictional interests, and the constantly shifting regulatory environment. Lions Gate has helped all levels of government, including First Nations, understand these interactions and the trade-offs inherent in balancing economic, socio-community and ecological values.

Resource Developments. Lions Gate has worked with many clients in the energy, mining and transportation industries document the socio-economic impacts required of the federal and provincial/territorial environmental assessment (or other regulatory) processes.


British Columbia Placer Mining Socio-Economic Study (2021). The BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation wanted to have an up-to-date, credible overview of the placer mining sector in British Columbia to assist with future policy development. Lions Gate was hired to gather information on the current state of BC’s placer gold and jade sectors and conduct a socio-economic assessment of its impacts on regional economies, Indigenous nations, and the province. The methodology for the study comprised a GIS analysis, jurisdictional review, industry survey and key informant interviews. In total, 480 placer and jade mineral miners responded to the survey (a response rate of 30%). A regulatory context was crafted around major legislation and associated regulations. Industry profiles for gold and jade, the socio-economic and community impacts of placer mining were quantified, as were regional effects. Production, revenues, expenditures, employment and taxes were documented. Indigenous impacts were based on the survey and supplemented by individual and group meetings with First Nations most affected by placer activities. Major areas of policy concern were environmental impacts and reclamation, compliance and enforcement measures, regulatory oversight and revenue sharing.

Economic Development

Lions Gate assists government, First Nations, communities, industry and individual businesses develop their economic development plans, policies and programs. We do this by helping them understand the nature of economic change, the opportunities for transforming community assets into wealth creation and the strategic options for moving the economy forward in an era of severe dislocation, globalized competition and secular change.

Our work approach is based on generally accepted principles of strategic economic planning, from economic and industry analysis, through each phase of the planning process to program design and delivery. We regularly employ analytical tools such as economic base analysis, SWOT analysis, cluster analysis and community asset mapping and complement those with community consultation techniques including focus groups, planning workshops, community surveys and public meetings. Our plans are detailed, action-oriented and sophisticated enough to deal with economic uncertainty and change, yet clearly articulated to facilitate understanding and implementation. In all cases, we strive to create an economic roadmap by balancing the objectives and values of the client organization or community with the impartial interpretation of economic, industry and competitiveness trends.

We have completed more than 150 projects for economic development organizations, including baseline studies, industry-specific studies (e.g. manufacturing, tourism, transportation, services), program-specific plans (e.g. marketing and investment attraction, business retention and expansion) and comprehensive, long term community plans.

Economic development strategies. Our passion at Lions Gate is working with government and NGOs improve the economic and social well-being of their constituencies through targeted and effective strategic plans.

Investment attraction and place marketing strategies. Lions Gate has worked with numerous communities market themselves and target new domestic and foreign direct investment through the deployment of realistic, measurable and implementable plans.

Tourism planning. Destination, market , product/experience, infrastructure and industry development–Lions Gate has engaged all dimensions of tourism planning for government, business and destination management organizations big and small. Programming best practices. Research and analysis of organizations that demonstrate superior policy, program and management practices that over time become economic development standards.


Nanaimo Economic Development Strategy (2020). The City of Nanaimo, British Columbia had closed its economic development corporation in 2017 but through the encouragement of major employers and renewed interest by City Council decided to reassess and renew services 2019. Lions Gate was commissioned to develop an Economic Development Strategy that would align with the City’s overall planning direction while building community and stakeholder support for service delivery. Engagement with stakeholders about their aspirations and expectations for the economic future of the city and central island region was critical. Focus groups, a business survey, a community survey, planning workshops and regular meetings with the City and its Economic Development Task Force throughout the project provided a foundation of transparency, inclusion and outreach. Key partners were Snuneymuxw First Nation, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo General Hospital, Nanaimo Port Authority and Nanaimo Airport. Hundreds of participants were successfully brought together in an ever-changing environment of travel restrictions and social distancing measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Strategy itself aligned with key City planning documents, which had already mapped out a general direction for the economy based on diversification, job creation, investment, downtown and waterfront development. Employment, wealth, diversification, and tax base objectives were set, as were targets for achieving economic and social equality. The Strategy was framed the “doughnut economy” concept that seeks to bind economic growth with social equality and ecological integrity. Key focus areas were economic, human and social capital, business development, technology and innovation and place marketing. Recommendations were highly targeted toward partnerships and implementation. The City has moved forward with establishing and funding a new economic development office, which will co-lead implementation based on a hybrid City/Agency model.

Feasibility and Business Planning

Lions Gate assists organizations evaluate a concept or project viability, formalize a business plan or improve organizational performance. Areas of expertise include tourism and hospitality, agriculture and food, forestry and wood manufacturing, high technology and services.

Our approach to feasibility assessments is to genuinely inform the client of the implications of a go or no-go decision concerning a proposed task, project or investment. A variety of analytical tools are used to inform study conclusions and recommendations but an opinion on the likelihood and context of success is always given.

Our business planning practice is designed to help clients develop an overall strategic approach to decision-making through the integration of goals (or objectives), policies, programs and strategic decisions. The focus of the planning may be at the corporate level or it may be for a specific project, product or market. A typical plan would incorporate industry, market and competitor analysis with marketing, operating, management and financial plan components. The plans we have prepared for clients have served a variety of purposes, from internal decision-making to fund-raising and joint-venture development.

Feasibility analysis. We have delivered dozens of feasibility studies that objectively identify the merits and deficiencies of a proposed venture or initiative, as the basis for implementation, abandonment, or further technical work.

Business and marketing plans. Lions Gate excels at well crafted business, marketing and financial plans for businesses, community organizations, non-profits and government.


Revelstoke Destination Management Plan Framework (2021). Lions Gate assisted Carlysle and Co. with a framework document that is guiding Tourism Revelstoke and the City of Revelstoke to a functional Destination Management Organization (DMO) model. Historically, tourism planning occurred in a fractured context, with marketing driven by hotel tax (MRDT) revenues managed by Tourism Revelstoke, local infrastructure and amenities by local government and public land use by the Province and federal government (Parks Canada). Revelstoke is a mountain resort community with exceptional growth opportunities but also issues and concerns around local quality of life and sustainability standards. The Framework was constructed around four dimensions, Destination Marketing, Destination Sustainability, Destination Insights and Destination Development, using best practice guidelines from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Destination International. There was a major emphasis on strategic leadership and an engagement process that would build multi-stakeholder involvement and support for destination management. Equal measure was given to data and research that inform decision making. Smaller, rural communities face in intelligence deficit when it comes to the local visitor economy. Traditional statistical agencies and sources are unable to provide the granularity and insight into visitor activity and associated business activity that can drive local decisions on destination management. Opportunities for collecting and sharing emerging information and data sources from the digital realm that raise the intelligence bar was prioritized as a way of creating holistic value. Revelstoke is using to Framework to managed its Destination Management Plan process.

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