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Ottawa's tech industry booms while retail drops

Local businesses are expanding and expecting growth, despite the confidence of Ottawa business leaders reaching a new low.
2017 City of Ottawa logo city hall MV
City of Ottawa logo on City Hall building. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

The confidence of business leaders in Ottawa has fallen to its lowest level in three years. 

According to the 2018 Ottawa Business Growth Survey, businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors are feeling pessimistic, while tech firms are optimistic about their growth.

"Look all around us, everything is booming. There's lots of construction that is happening and the tech industry is constantly looking for people as well," said Kenny Leon, Director of Communications at the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.

He added, "I don't think that anything is going to slow down, if at all I think we're on a boost to accelerate henceforth from here."

The Business Confidence Index shows a three point drop in overall confidence among business people since Spring 2017.

Looking at each sector, only the technology and construction sectors saw a positive increase. Confidence among business leaders in the tech sector increased 11.4 points, the construction industry saw a 4 point increase. 

Confidence among the consulting sector dropped by 0.2 points, the hospitality sector dropped by 8.8 points, and the retail sector by 10.4 points.

The 2018 Ottawa Business Growth Survey reveals the following:

- More than two in five respondents say their organization plans to recruit new employees over the next year.
- The rising minimum wage is having a negative impact on more than two in five local businesses.
- The cost of doing business is perceived to be getting worse.
- Nearly one-third of respondents plan to lease or buy bigger commercial space for their business.
- 51% of businesses said their net income was higher last year than in 2016.
- Attracting new customers and recruiting skilled workers at the most important issues facing businesses.
- Local companies are expanding and expecting future growth.
- 51% of respondents approve of Mayor Jim Watson's performance.


Saif Kaisar

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