Prospectus: These three projects will mark first half of 2020 for Ottawa business

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In each issue of the OBJ newsmagazine, publisher Michael Curran shares his prospectus for the Ottawa business community. Read the February edition of the newsmagazine here.

Q1 is a busy planning period for most companies. That also holds true for OBJ. Complementing OBJ’s daily local business coverage is a constellation of projects that provide specialized information to OBJ’s audience of business leaders. Sometimes the project explores a niche of the regional economy (see OAX launch on March 3) or a wide-ranging research project such as the ever-popular Book of Lists (scheduled for early September).

In total, OBJ will undertake dozens of special publications and events that will fill the calendar year. Here is a quick overview of some noteworthy projects in the first half of 2020.

Growth survey

Five years ago, OBJ, the Ottawa Board of Trade and our lead partner Welch LLP established the Ottawa Business Growth Survey.

Administered by Abacus Data, the survey answers a critically important question: How confident are local business leaders in the local economy? This is explored by gathering input from 1,000 business leaders (that’s the stretch goal) on their hiring plans, revenue outlook, access to capital and other topics.

The survey will start in March and its findings will be unveiled at an event in early June.

City-Building Summit

OBJ and its partner, the Ottawa Board of Trade, piloted three one-day conferences in 2019 with much success. The first was a spring event that brought together a unique group of people with a common and lofty purpose: city-building. Land developers, real estate, construction and business leaders with a real passion for Ottawa talked about the projects that are shaping the city, such as LRT, the refurbishment of the ByWard Market and LeBreton Flats. It was a fascinating exercise that will happen again in 2020, this year scheduled for April 30. Mark your calendar.

Forty Under 40

At OBJ, we don’t like to play favourites, but let’s just agree that Forty Under 40 is near and dear to our hearts. Two decades after it was established, this is still the most sought-after award for rising young business stars. The concept is pretty straightforward. Forty business leaders under the age of 40 are recognized for their business accomplishments, expertise and community involvement. Nominations are now being accepted until the end of March. Recipients first come together in May at the Telfer EMBA for an afternoon of networking and learning. The big party (emphasis on party) happens on Friday, June 19 at Hilton Lac-Leamy. Be there or be square.

And here is a whole new level of special. OBJ is now months away from turning 25. Yes, it’s OBJ’s silver anniversary. How time flies. Stay tuned for important announcements that relate to this big milestone for OBJ.

Read OBJ's February newsmagazine

This month's OBJ investigates an often-overlooked sector of Ottawa's economy: the growing field of biotech. Newsmagazine editor David Sali talks to local developers of medical therapies and devices as well as supporters of Ottawa's biotech ecosystem about the challenges of scaling up in a heavily regulated industry that often requires years of capital-intensive R&D before products are ready for market.

Also in this issue, Techopia editor Craig Lord talks to economic development agencies and HR firms that are casting their nets beyond the city's borders in a search for the best and brightest talent in a tight labour market. Meanwhile, Caroline Phillips has a profile of former Ottawa TV personality Lianne Laing, who explains why she's loving her latest venture.

Read the full issue below.