There are plenty of questions when starting a new business.
And the economic development office of Maple Ridge is launching a program this week to help would-be entrepreneurs get their business started.
In fact, Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto will be in Maple Ridge today (Tuesday) to help kick off the program and officially open the North Fraser Business Innovation Accelerator.
The program, aptly named Business START, is a free hour-long workshop that goes through the basics of starting a business, for example, business licences, accounts, registration, and then connects the workshop participants to resources available to help them grow their business.
Sandy Blue with the economic development office said the workshop will offer "what you need to know when you are opening a business."
"We want to give access to the resources they need," Blue said.
Currently, there are 24,000 jobs in Maple Ridge, and council's Vision 2025 is to have 48,000 jobs locally with a population of 132,000. There are 1,500 home businesses and 1,500 other businesses in Maple Ridge, 700 of those in the downtown core. For more information, people can go to www.investmapleridge.ca.
The economic development office has also secured space for fledgling businesses to rent office space and connect with others just getting started.
“The Business Innovation Accelerator concept came out of our work with the province as part of the and the BC Jobs Plan pilot,” Blue explained.
“It is included in the ‘Centre of Excellence & Innovation’ umbrella project. The concept envisions a multi-institutional initiative that partners post-secondary institutions, industry organizations, the Invest North Fraser partners, School District 42, and others with the Government of BC to create jobs in several BC Jobs Plan sectors in the short-term; and provide a solid base to meet the forecast regional population and jobs growth for years to come.”
The North Fraser Centre of Excellence & Innovation includes three primary pillars – Working Farm School, Business Innovation Accelerator, Green Building Technologies Centre.
Still in its infancy, the North Fraser Business Innovation Accelerator is already home to the BCIT School of Business part-time studies, the BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) Centre4Growth, businessSTART seminars, Small Business BC webinars; and seminars from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation – with significant interest from others for programs and services that will further support business and innovation across the North Fraser economic region.
The space is located at #300-22470 Dewdney Trunk Rd. in the Maple Ridge Business Centre.
Blue said the space is outfitted with co-working spaces, private office spaces, classroom space, WiFi services, and audio-visual equipment.
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