You might be surprised to learn that there are more than 1,500 retail and commercial businesses in Maple Ridge.
About half of them - 750 or so - are in our town centre area and members of the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association (DMRBIA).
Each month the list of companies in Maple Ridge grows; so in addition to your favourites, we're seeing lots of new shops and services.
Two companies that have recently created more than 100 new local jobs are Thrifty Foods and RST Instruments.
Last month Business in Vancouver (BIV) devoted a full page to the "building boom" in Maple Ridge, referring to the Town Centre Investment Incentive that has resulted in some 40 new high-density residential and mixed-use commercial-residential projects downtown; and more than 400 more across the rest of Maple Ridge.
The current Maple Ridge population of 77,400 is forecast to nearly double to 132,000 by 2040. And we're on track to double from an estimated 11,000 residents living in the town centre area today to 22,000 during the same time.
Strong growth forecasts like these help attract more business and residents who appreciate the affordability, lifestyle, amenities, and opportunities here.
At the centre of all the action is our civic complex (municipal hall, library, The ACT, leisure centre, public safety and police, Service BC, Work BC, Maple Ridge Business Centre, Haney Transit Exchange, and Memorial Peace Park). The park hosts more than 70 festivals and events and the Haney Farmers Market annually.
Tens of thousands of individuals are drawn here each year for business services and to participate in recreation and leisure activities downtown.
What a great opportunity for us all to come together and do our part to help continue the momentum - supporting existing business and attracting other businesses - as Maple Ridge becomes a primary destination of leisure, culture and entertainment, and more destination retail.
Currently Maple Ridge companies employ about 22,000 people. As with our population, jobs are also forecast to roughly double to 44,000 by 2040.
Today, a large percentage of Maple Ridge residents leave town to go to work. At Invest Maple Ridge we're working hard to attract investment and create even more high-value local jobs.
Our role at Invest Maple Ridge is investment attraction and business retention and expansion to create even more high-value local jobs.
One of the ways we do so is by partnering with other organizations. Our Connecting Businesses, Resources to Succeed brochure introduces Invest Maple Ridge, Service BC, Work BC, the DMRBIA, and the chamber of commerce - organizations working together to help new or existing business thrive. Download your copy at www.investmapleridge.ca.
Attracting new companies to Maple Ridge and the region is much easier when we can demonstrate specific interest and demand from the community.
That's where you come in.
ù Residents: We'd like to encourage you to find out what businesses are already here and ask you to support them by shopping local whenever possible.
We'd also like to hear from you. Tell us about your favourite local businesses, and the types of businesses you would like to see in future.
ù Business owners: This fall, Invest Maple Ridge's Business Showcase will profile local companies.
Tell us why you love doing business here for your chance to be included in our weekly Facebook page showcase of local businesses.
Interested? Email a photo and brief description of your business along with the name and address of your business, contact information, and in 50 words or less tell us why you love doing business in Maple Ridge.
Send your ideas and Business Showcase profiles to email@example.com and 'Like' Invest Maple Ridge on Facebook to see business showcase profiles, stay up to date on all the exciting projects and events taking place around town.
Sandy Blue is Manager for Strategic Economic Development for Maple Ridge.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org