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Innovative Survey Reveals Critical Information About Ottawa Businesses

Innovative Survey Reveals Critical Information About Ottawa Businesses and the Potential Impact on City of Ottawa Decisions Post-COVID 


For Immediate Release: April 29th, 2021. In a ground-breaking survey by Statistics Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, important details have been revealed about Ottawa-Gatineau’s very unique pandemic business reality and what sets it apart from other Canadian cities. 

President and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade (OBoT) Sueling Ching says, “Looking at the data, it’s very clear that we need to make decisions about the future of the Capital region with a deep understanding of our reality. Having the information is an important first step in advance of Friday’s City Building Summit: Ottawa NEXT.” 

Some of the key points from the survey of more than 15,000 Canadian businesses: 

29% of Ottawa businesses plan to offer a remote work option to their employees permanently. It makes the Capital region one of the most “remote inclined” areas in Canada. That has an impact on everything from transportation to talent recruitment 

77% of Canadian business owners have no current plan to sell or close

50% of businesses in Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, Accommodation or Food Services report more than a 30% drop in revenues over 2021. Business formation in Ottawa is now growing faster than business closures 

This information, and many other key points, will be an important piece in the City Building Summit Friday. Participants will use these statistics to have informed conversations on everything from small business support to ease of doing business and future mobility needs. 

City Building Summit  

Friday April 30th 

8:00-9:00 Networking – Hosted by RGA & OCOBIA 

9:00-9:20 Welcome from OBoT and OBJ 

Welcome from Catherine McKenna 

Welcome from Lisa MacLeod 

Welcome from Mayor Watson 

9:20-9:25 Introduction of Jennifer Keesmaat 

9:25-10:00 Keynote - Jennifer Keesmaat - Own Your City 

10:00-10:10 Q&A with Jennifer Keesmaat 

10:10-10:20 Networking break 

10:20-10:55 Alain Miguelez - Future State: Ottawa in 2046 

(Introduction from Regional Group) 

10:55-11:55 High Impact Projects Panel Introduced by WSP 

▪ Court Curry - ByWard Market 

▪ Tobi Nussbaum - Activating the Capital's Shorelines 

▪ Sonya Shorey - Area XO 

▪ Jeff Westeinde – Zibi 

11:55-12:00 Morning wrap-up by McMillan LLP 

12:00-12:10 Networking break

12:10-12:15 Introduction of Frank Cuypers by Michael Crockatt 

12:15-12:55 Keynote-Frank Cuypers - Branding Ottawa is more than the Ottawa Brand

12:55-1:05 Q&A with Frank Cuypers 

1:05 Karen Brownrigg, Ottawa Ambassadors 

1:10-1:55 Economic Growth Panel Introduced by Ottawa Board of Trade

▪ James Baker - Talent 

▪ Sonya Shorey - Tech 

▪ Catherine Callary - Tourism 

▪ John Manconi – Transportation 

1:55 Conclusion and networking 

Ching says, “As the Voice for Business, OBoT has been advocating for all businesses since the pandemic began, as we have for 160 years. We have sat at key policy tables to get help where needed. With this report we now have data to support what we’ve heard consistently and that’s that small businesses in the hardest hit sectors are paying the highest price.  Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and we need to support them. But, we also need to look past the pandemic because it has dramatically changed our business community and we need to adapt, very quickly.” 

Event Info Here 

For More Information, and to book OBoT CEO Sueling Ching for an interview: 

Kimothy Walker 613.859. 3753 (personal and confidential)