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Ottawa’s growth is at an inflection point

The challenge? To stay the course while a scarcity mindset has taken hold

Ottawa business growth survey with Welch LLP

The tenth annual Welch LLP Business Growth survey, a joint research project conducted annually by Abacus Data, the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Board of Trade, surveys local business leaders about their confidence in the local economy.

One thing the survey results taught us this year is the majority of the business community thinks we’re going in the right direction, but there’s still a ways to go.


Fifty-one per cent of respondents said we’re headed in the right direction, while forty-nine per cent thought otherwise.

The optimistic folks attributed it to Ottawa’s mayor, the city’s growth, overall leadership, housing and a sense of optimism, while folks with ongoing concerns cited housing, taxes, transit, inflation, and government as the source of their skepticism.

David Colleto attributes the concerns to overarching issues like inflation, economic uncertainties, a rapidly growing population in the midst of a housing shortage, geopolitical tensions, and ongoing supply chain disruptions that are making it difficult for businesses to plan for the long term.

OBJ editor Anne Howland spoke to the silver-lining view. “Rarely have we seen such a time of development and construction,” she said.

She also highlights the important role that our municipal government is playing during this moment of transition. 

“To complement the survey results, we reached out to the mayor and councillors to hear about their priorities as related to business,” said Howland. “All in all, I think the report brings together the business and government views to reveal the gaps and the common ground.”

Ultimately, the best way to weather periods of uncertainty and growth is to stay the course, and the annual Welch LLP Survey is just one way the Ottawa Business Journal helps chart it for the local business community.

It’s our hope the insights you find between the covers of the 2024 Welch LLP Business Growth Survey will shine a light on what the next steps should be. 

That said, the folks at Welch LLP have an opinion of their own on this topic based on their years of experience in the sector.

“We need more risk takers in Ottawa and throughout the country,” said Chris Meyers, a partner in the Welch LLP Ottawa office.

Download this year’s report today.