BBOT Releases Business Sentiment Report; Business Confident But Struggling with Finding Workers, Cost of Housing

August 29, 2016

Board of Trade Releases Business Sentiment Report;
Businesses Confident But Struggling with Finding Workers, Cost of Housing

Burnaby, BC – Burnaby businesses are doing well overall but have challenges finding workers and with the impacts of the high cost of housing, according to a new Business Sentiment Report released by the Burnaby Board of Trade today. The Business Sentiment Report is based on the results of interviews with dozens of businesses conducted by the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) in the Lake City-Production Way district as part of a Business Walk, an economic development exercise, in the area. The businesses interviewed were from a variety of sectors and a range of sizes, representing a cross-section of the Burnaby business community.

The BBOT’s Business Sentiment Report finds that business is doing very well; 63% of respondents reported business is expanding and 35% stated it is holding steady while only 1% reported it as poor or declining. Overall, businesses find Burnaby a great place to do business, citing its location at the geographic center of the region and its transportation infrastructure (roads, buses, SkyTrain) as its two biggest strengths. And when asked, 90% state that they would look first to stay in Burnaby if they had to find a new office.

The biggest challenge reported by the business community is hiring and retaining employees, a difficulty mentioned by 43% of businesses interviewed. Other challenges mentioned include managing business costs (17%) and regulations (16%). When asked about a series of larger issues and their effects on business, Transportation and Traffic (55%), Attracting and Retaining Staff (49%), and Housing and Real Estate Costs (46%) were identified as having the most impact. Many businesses directly linked the high cost of housing to both their difficulties in attracting and retaining employees and their rising business costs.

“We feel it is very important for us, as the voice of local business, to go out into our community and talk with businesses face-to-face. It takes a lot of effort to door-knock so many businesses, but the feedback we get is invaluable to our role as Burnaby’s leading business association and advocate,” states Paul Holden, BBOT President & CEO. “We were very happy to see how well businesses are doing and how positively they view Burnaby as a business destination. However, we were very concerned with how many businesses see the high cost of housing in the region as having both direct and indirect negative impacts on their bottom lines. This isn’t just a housing issue anymore—it’s a business issue,” added Holden.

The Lake City-Production Way Business Walk was conducted on July 27th, 2016. The businesses interviewed represent a wide variety of sectors and industries and ranged in size from 1 to 300 employees.

The full Business Sentiment Report can be found here


The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) is Burnaby’s pre-eminent business association and is a key part of the City’s economic development strategy. Working closely with the municipality, the BBOT supports the growth of business both locally and internationally, and fosters a sustainable business environment through networking, education, advocacy and development. Through our vision and leadership, we facilitate a collaborative community model involving business, not-for-profits, academia, citizens and all levels of government. The BBOT supports the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental sustainability. For more information on the Burnaby Board of Trade, visit

Cory Redekop
Manager, Policy & Events
Burnaby Board of Trade
(604) 412-0100