Burnaby Board of Trade
t’s a lesson that works as well in a kindergarten classroom as it does in the corporate world: when you work together, you get better results. The Burnaby Board of Trade has been helping city businesses do just that for more than 100 years. “Essentially, we are the voice of business in Burnaby,” said Paul Holden, CEO and president of the Board. “Our mission really speaks to why people join us: to improve business by providing insightful leadership, advocacy, education, and a platform for collaboration. That’s our goal, our focus.” That comes in the form of a variety of programs, services and events, all aimed at helping to provide businesses of all sizes and types with the tools they need to have continued and growing success. “A big organization or company with 200 people is going to be looking for very different things than a small business,” said Holden. “But that’s where our various initiatives come in, in providing what different businesses need and will work for them.” For example, he points to two of their most successful programs, the Ambassador program and the Access Student Career Development program. In the Ambassador program, local individuals in the business community volunteer time and expertise to help connect with new members, working with them to network and connect with other members and programs. With the Access program, the Burnaby Board of Trade has teamed up with local educational bodies BCIT, SFU and Douglas College, to create a career skills and mentorship program to prepare students to enter the workforce. The BBOT also hosts a variety of events
through the year for education, networking and community involvement and provides members with a significant amount of benefits and discount programs, including the Chamber of Commerce Health Plan, fuel discounts and reduced fees for payment processing.
BURNABY PROFILES OF
Excellence “Making business better.”
Holden says the Board is also unique among its counterparts in North America in its vision statement. “We want to be recognized as a leader in championing an innovative, sustainable, socially responsible and robust business community in Burnaby,” he said. “We invest quite a lot of time, energy and resources toward supporting the triple-bottom line and that truly differentiates us.” In practical terms, those goals are pursued in a variety of ways, for example, the board has initiated a Pledge for Sustainable Community, which is a resource to help local businesses take specific and measurable steps to reduce their environmental footprint. “That’s a leading edge program, we already have over 100 business involved in that, and they have achieved some great successes,” he said. There are currently more than 1,100 members with the board, and Holden says they plan to continue to grow in the coming years, innovating with new programs and events. “This city is known for being very business friendly - the location is a great factor, but also the history. We have some top-notch organizations based here and we’ve developed a really strong reputation in certain sectors such as high-tech, clean energy and film and entertainment” he noted. “It’s a great time for business in Burnaby.”
PHOTO: Paul Holden, CEO and President, Burnaby Board of Trade
Burnaby Board of Trade 201-4555 Kingsway Burnaby, B.C. 604-412-0100 www.bbot.ca