Burnaby Business Recovery Task Force

July 16, 2020 - April 30, 2021
Burnaby Business Recovery Task Force Members meeting via Zoom.

On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization officially announced COVID-19 as a global pandemic. As this new coronavirus spread respiratory infections across the globe, concerns around health impacts, transmission, travel, supply chains and the economy began to rise. Business closures and curtailment became more common as public health restrictions tightened and social distancing became the new norm.

The creation of the Burnaby Business Recovery Task Force came at a moment where a once strong business community began facing significant financial, operating and employment hardships due to the pandemic. Businesses in Burnaby reported experiencing decreased sales volumes, layoffs or reduced staff hours and deferred marketing or capital spending more than the provincial average.  Burnaby businesses required immediate support and they needed a roadmap to rebuild and recover from the crisis.

Facilitated by the Centre for Dialogue's Socal Enterprise team, the Task Force was led through a process with the mandate to identify actions that could support local businesses in coping during the immediate crisis, plan their recovery once social isolation measures have been relaxed or lifted, and ultimately rebuild for the long-term.

The Project

The Burnaby Business Recovery Task Force was created as an initiative of the Burnaby Board of Trade, and was facilitated by Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. The Task Force comprised of senior representatives from local government, major employers, small businesses, non-profits, labour unions and post-secondary institutions. The mandate of the Task Force was to develop a strategy to help businesses cope with the ongoing crisis, plan their recovery once current COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed and lifted, and ultimately rebuild the local economy for the long term.

The work of the Burnaby Business Recovery Task Force was conducted over a series of 10 virtual meetings, which were chaired by Paul Holden, President and CEO of the Burnaby Board of Trade, and facilitated by Robin Prest, Program Director of the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. 

Over the 10 week process, the Task Force developed a detailed plan with 13 actions for economic stabilization, recovery and rebuilding. These actions support the Task Force vision for an economic future that promotes equity and sustainability, creates jobs and financial opportunity, supports major employers and generates pride in local, independent, and community-involved businesses.

To read the full list of actions developed by the Burnaby Business Recovery Task Force, download and read the Final Action Plan.

Partner Organization

The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) is the city's most active networking, advocacy and economic development organization, bringing together over 1000 local businesses and entrepreneurs to work at 'making business better'.

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Purpose of Inquiry

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