The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it unprecedented challenges for businesses. Since February, more than 5,500 companies in Greater Vancouver have been forced to shut their doors as a result of the virus, and according to our research, many more (26%) fear they will not survive another year if economic conditions do not improve.
While the battle for survival is ongoing, as we head into 2021 businesses find themselves at crossroads. The arrival of a long-awaited vaccine means that there is finally a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but its eventual roll out will not flip a switch on the hardships that businesses have faced over the past nine months.
COVID-19 has also created a new normal that businesses must adapt to. The adoption of new working practices, technologies and behaviours has fundamentally altered our landscape creating an uncertain economy that businesses will be dealing with long after the virus has passed.
The road to recovery will be long, so what do businesses need to do to navigate 2021?
The road to recovery
Our 32nd Annual Economic Outlook Forum will provide our region's business leaders with a detailed look at the road to economic recovery in the year ahead. Taking place on Tuesday January 19 and Thursday January 21, it will deliver practical conversations to help business-owners as they plan for a new year set against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. One of the flagship events of the GVBOT event calendar, this year's Economic Forum boasts a stellar panel with some of the leading names in business coming together to address the year ahead.
This year's forum will kick off with a keynote from Jean-François Perrault, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Scotiabank, who will present an economic forecast and provide insights on what businessleaders can expect in 2021 both here in Canada and across the globe.
Following Perrault's keynote, a panel of CEOs from some of B.C.'s leading businesses will take the stage to provide their outlook on economic recovery and how it will impact their decision-making in 2021. Christine Bergeron, Interim President & CEO, Vancity, Colin Bosa, CEO, Bosa Properties Inc., Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC and Walter Pela, Regional Managing Partner, KPMG, are among the panellists slated to appear.
On day two of the event Peter Hall, Vice President and Chief Economist at Export Development Canada; alongside moderator Carole Taylor O.C., O.B.C., Former B.C. Finance Minister and a Governor of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, will kick off a discussion about the global impact of COVID-19 and the outlook for trade and exports.
Following the keynote a panel of pundits and journalist will take the stage to look at the changing political landscape both at home and abroad, and how they might impact B.C. businesses in the year ahead. Panellists include Global BC reporter Richard Zussman, CTV journalist Bhinder Sajan and Mira Oreck, Executive Director of the Houssain Foundation.
For more information and to register for the event visit boardoftrade.com/outlook2021