July/August 2020 – Facing the Music

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

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JULY/AUGUST 2020 BCBUSINESS 61 BCBUSINESS.CA well-known names such as H.Y. Louie Co., Lululemon Athletica, Best Buy Canada, BC Liquor Dis- tribution Branch and London Drugs hold sway in the top 20. All of them saw rev- enue grow last year, while the province's traditional resources sectors—mining, for- estry and natural gas—began feeling the economic chill that really took hold as 2020 dawned. It's the picture of a resilient economy, one rooted in local demand but not immune to global impacts. "There's been a lot of export uncer- tainty in the past year," says Bryan Yu, deputy chief economist with Central 1 Credit Union. "When we look at what sec- tors or which parts of the economy would do relatively well, it's very domestic," Yu adds. "It's driven by the population cycle; it's driven by people moving here, their household needs." Supporting the strength of those com- panies, often by drawing people to the province, are the software, services and export-oriented businesses that call B.C. home. They're strong contributors to pro- vincial GDP, even if few of them are large enough to make the Top 100. Many of those that are giants in their field aren't headquartered here. The tech sector is a case in point, with thousands of people employed by Ama- zon.com and Microsoft, both of which have grown their footprint in the prov- ince. "We are largely a regional headquar- ters, and that's just because we're not a financial centre like Toronto or an oil-and- gas centre like Calgary," Yu says. The resilience of companies focused on serving domestic needs becomes clearer with a look at performance. All but two of the 10 posting the biggest revenue declines last year are in the resources industries, with forest companies domi- nating. The exceptions: satellite firm MDA (formerly Maxar Technologies), spun out of its U.S. parent early in the new year, and Concert Properties, which saw revenue drop as real estate development slowed. Yet both MDA and Concert underscore the role of innovation and adaptation in keeping the B.C. economy vibrant. Pur- chased for $1 billion by a consortium led by Toronto-based Northern Private Capital, MDA will again operate indepen- dently from its base in B.C. as it continues continued from page 55 Employee Benefits are evolving. Are you? Over the years, Employee Benefits have remained relatively unchanged while employee needs have shifted dramatically. Time to catch up? Maximizing Employee Benefits requires rethinking the traditional. Today's needs are diverse and require flexibility and inclusion. Every organization is different. Shouldn't your employee benefits plan support your unique needs? 104–6351 197 Street Langley, BC V2Y 1X8 OFFICE 604.888.4521 TOLL-FREE 1.877.777.5552 ascensionbenefits.com AscensionBenefits-1/3sq.indd 1 2019-12-02 2:05 PM

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