Business Environment

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Haut-Richelieu's competitive advantages

Because of its privileged location, its inhabitants and its facilities such as the military base and the Cégep de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the Haut-Richelieu is a major RCM offering several competitive advantages.

The Haut-Richelieu in figures

  • 224 manufacturing companies
  • 8741 manufacturing jobs
  • $118,7 million in investments
  • 65 % of HR companies export
  • 5 industrial parks
  • 1 airport and technological park
  • 1 regional airport
  • 3 Canadian railway companies serve the city (CN, CPR and CMQ)
  • 2 vocational training centers
  • 1 CÉGEP
  • 1 college and military university
  • 1 Incubator
  • 4 regional expertise

Source: 2018 Annual Report – CEHR


Strategic Location

  1. Surounded by a vast motorway network (10, 15, 20, 30, 35).
  2. Direct rail links with the entire North American continent.
  3. Nearby Montreal and Contrecoeur ports.
  4. Close to Montreal, Plattsburgh and Burlington airports, as well as the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Regional Airport.

The Haut-Richelieu region is located less than 40 kilometres from Montreal and its suburbs, which has a population of nearly 4 million and the highest industrial concentration in Quebec. It is also adjacent to the U.S. border, opening doors in Eastern Canada and the United States for investors from the region. Within a radius of 1000 kilometres, it is possible to reach 115 million consumers in major North American cities such as Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago and Detroit. There is a population of 119,311 inhabitants in the Haut-Richelieu in an area of 932 km². The major city, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, is the 11th largest city in Quebec and the 58th largest in Canada, with 96,371 inhabitants. The 13 peri-urban municipalities, which represent 90% of the territory, are mainly agricultural and have an average of 1,765 inhabitants per municipality. The estimated total peri-urban population is 22,940 inhabitants, representing 19% of the total population of the Haut-Richelieu.

Road transport

  • Highway 10, which links Montreal to Sherbrooke;
  • Highway 35, which leads to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, is an extension of U.S. highways 89 and 91 that lead to Boston. In addition, Highway 35 has yet to be completed for less than 15 km. The announcement of the completion has been made and will make the Montreal-Boston axis a real trade corridor;
  • Direct link with the United States by highways 133, 221, 223 and 104, allowing a drawdown on Highway 15;
  • Outside of congestion areas.

Marine Transport

  • Richelieu Riverway with fifteen marinas in our region, including the largest in Quebec;
  • Proximity to the Port of Montreal (40 km);
  • Proximity to the Port of Sorel and the Contrecoeur terminal (100 km).

Air Transport

  • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Regional Airport;
  • Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (62 km);
  • Plattsburg International Airport (91 km);
  • Burlington International Airport (117 km).

Rail Transport

  • Link with the American rail network;
  • Access to three railway companies: CNR, CPR and CMQ.

Jobs distribution by sector of activity

  • 8,741 manufacturing jobs in 2018 (an increase of 292 jobs from 2017)
  • Qualified, stable and competitive workforce
  • 224 manufacturing companies, 26 of which have more than 100 employees
  • 57% of companies have more than 75% of their employees from the Haut-Richelieu region, the others come mainly from the Montérégie region
  • Dynamic environment with strong entrepreneurial capacity fostering the emergence of new projects and new companies
  • Ease of supply and subcontracting due to the pool of manufacturers and suppliers in and around the territory
  • Wide variety of technical qualifications and basic skills
  • Accessibility to high level skills
Greater Montreal is the 13th largest employment area in North America and has the 4th largest increase in university graduation rates in North America since 2011

For more information on the labour market:

Visit the Emploi-Québec website

Quebec economic context is currently favourable and the Haut-Richelieu is no exception. Companies are competing for the best candidates and must offer attractive incentives to convince workers to choose their company. The vast majority of our companies offer employee benefits to their employees in addition to salary. It is not necessary to travel very far to access quality jobs with a range of benefits. Group insurance, pension plans, RRSPs, vacation, sick leave, etc. are just a few examples.

For more information

As a business partner, Hydro-Québec is committed to offer reliability and energy performance. When a new company seeks to establish itself in the Haut-Richelieu region, Hydro-Québec’s team must be notified as soon as possible. The objective is to enable the capacities of the local network to be adapted to the company’s needs.

Visit Hydro-Québec’s website

More than 97% of Québec’s energy, which comes almost entirely from hydropower, is renewable. This clean and inexpensive energy is a distinctive feature that gives Québec an undeniable advantage on the North American market.

  • Quebec hydroelectricity’s GHG emissions, similar to those of wind power, are 70 times lower than those of coal.
  • The cost of electricity in Québec is, on average, 49% lower than in the G7 countries and 36% lower than in the United States.
  • Natural gas complements electricity production. It is widely used in the industrial sector.

Sources: Investissement Québec

Haut-Richelieu region is very well served by telecommunications. The entire territory is covered to allow businesses and citizens to communicate and stay connected at all times. In addition to the two main players in Québec, Vidéotron and Bell, IHR Telecom offers telecommunications services such as Internet, television and fibre optic telephony. This is more than 1,400 customers covered since their opening in 2008.

Visit the IHR Telecom website

Manufacturing companies wishing to establish themselves in the region will be able to count on four major industrial zones. The two main areas available are the Saint-Luc industrial zone and the Iberville industrial park. Some of the city’s land is also available at very attractive prices. The Lacolle and Saint-Alexandre industrial parks are very close to the American borders and also offer available lands. To find more information about the current offer of available land or industrial premises, visit our section on this subject.

Interactive map

According to the 2017-2018 World Economic Forum’s report on competitiveness, Canada’s banking system ranks second in the world. It is also the strongest among the G7 countries, thanks in particular to the presence of several of the most reliable banks in the world. It is also governed by a regulatory, supervisory and compensation infrastructure that ensures the stability, growth and competitiveness of Québec financial institutions.