2019: What's ahead for business in Waterloo region

Business investment in Waterloo region 'will surprise us,' Waterloo EDC president and CEO Tony LaMantia says in his prediction for the new year.

Business investment in Waterloo region 'will surprise us,' Waterloo EDC CEO says

Tracy Van Kalsbeek of the Uptown Waterloo BIA predicts people will flock to the core for it's cool vibe and transportation choices. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC)

Waterloo region continues to grow and despite some experts predicting a slowdown across the country this year, that may not be the case here.

At least that's one of the predictions for business in the region.

Sandy Pell is lead communications at the Kitchener video platform company Vidyard and founded WRPR, a Waterloo Region Public Relations community that fosters conversation between the region's communications leaders. She compiled a list of predictions from tech, business and education leaders and shared them with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.

Here are predictions from two regional leaders in the business sector.

"While most economists are projecting slower economic growth in 2019 due to mounting global trade tensions and the length of our almost 10-year post-recession expansion, I believe that business investment in Waterloo region and [southwestern] Ontario will surprise us on the upside.

"Spurred by major multi-year investments already underway in advanced manufacturing (e.g. Toyota Canada), I predict companies will aggressively take advantage of Canada's new accelerated capital cost allowance incentives to expand investments in plant, equipment and emerging technology in order to up their competitive positioning — move up the value chain into higher margin, higher value-added production."

Tony LaMantia, president and CEO of Waterloo EDC

"Uptown Waterloo's updated streetscape, broad range of housing and diversity of businesses will bring more people to visit, live, work and play.

"Empty-nesters and families will fall more in love with the unique lifestyle that uptown offers including excellent restaurants, walking trails, clothing stores, salons, spas and more young professionals will flock to it for its cool vibe, bike trails, transportation choices, night-life and new condo developments."

Tracy Van Kalsbeek, executive director of the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area

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