In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that consumers support local business whenever possible. (Special to The News)

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that consumers support local business whenever possible. (Special to The News)

Shopping local key to recovery – chamber

COVID reminder: Small business owners are your friends and neighbours who need support

By Monique Tamminga/Special to The News

Now more than ever, it’s so important to shop local to support small businesses that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19.

“Everyone is trying their best to stay positive, but COVID has been really hard on businesses,” said Ineke Broekhorst, executive director of the Downtown Maple Ridge BIA.

“Most are mom and pop shops in Maple Ridge who have invested everything into their business,” said Broekhorst.

“Maple Ridge residents should think about staying local. We are supposed to keep our circles small so stay in your own community. It helps businesses so much. The owners are your neighbours, your friends, and very appreciative of your business.”

For every dollar spent locally, 80 cents stays in the community, she noted.

Most small businesses took advantage of the $40,000 loan the federal government offered. While the loan helped tremendously, $30,000 of that has to be paid back, she added.

RELATED: OUR VIEW: Putting your money where your heart is

The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to liaise with governments and businesses to make sure they get the government support they deserve.

As of June 26, businesses eligible for CEBA (Canadian Emergency Business Account) now include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll, said Flori Chaykowski, executive director of the Chamber.

“This means that more small businesses can access it,” she added. CEBA provides funds to small businesses that have lost income because of COVID.

Getting staff to return to work has been a challenge across all sectors and caused some businesses to reduce their hours, said Broekhorst.

.

BUSINESSES PIVOT IN WAKE OF PANDEMIC

There have been some positives since the B.C.’s top health official Dr. Bonnie Henry announced opening up B.C. to phase 3.

“We have all been cooped up for so long, people now have an appetite for shopping and eating out,” Broekhorst said.

Shopping and eating local is surprisingly easy to do.

Local retail offers unique products and brands not seen at big box stores.

“Supporting our communities by feeding into our local economies is key to recovery,” said Chaykowski.

Whether restaurants and gift shops to nail salons and bakeries, safety regulations are all in place to welcome customers back safely.

RELATED: Movement growing in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to show locals some love

Restaurants have made all the adjustments necessary to keep their staff and customers safe, including reducing the amount of seating inside, frequent cleaning, and wearing masks. Some have been able to extend or create patio seating thanks to the city expediting patio permits.

.

ENJOY A MEAL ON THE NEW PATIOS

Check out 224th Street for its transformation into this cool new place to sit on a patio, and grab a cool drink and some food.

“The city expedited patio permits at no charge and with no hoops to jump through, which made it a quicker process to help restaurants and breweries out,” said Kathryn Baird, tourism coordinator for the City of Maple Ridge. “The provincial government fast-tracked liquor licences and that also helped a lot.”

The patio at Silver Valley Brewing has been extended. Neighbouring Taco Fan has just built a beautiful patio for people to enjoy. Chameleon’s patio has also been enlarged. Ridge Brewing has a patio and more restaurants are planning patios, too, she said.

The city is working closely with the chamber of commerce and the DMRBIA, said Wendy Dupley, economic development director for Maple Ridge.

.

FILMING IS BACK IN A BIG WAY

One economy that has seen a boom is filming, said Dupley.

“Filming has been crazy busy in the city since the July 1st restart of this sector,” said Dupley.

“We had eight productions in [late July] alone and five more in early August. The complexity of each has increased with the safety protocols required and an increase to the number of Maple Ridge locations each wishes to shoot in.”

The film industry plays a big role in the local economy. In 2018, $45.5 million was paid in wages to Maple Ridge residents working in the film sector.

.

ONLINE PRESENCE IS NOW KEY

During the pandemic, many retail stores and restaurants pivoted, creating online stores and web ordering.

“Having an online presence is so valuable,” said Broekhorst. “A lot of businesses have survived because of online ordering, and people can either do curbside pick up or delivery.”

During the pandemic, local businesses have been innovative in quite creative ways, said Broekhorst.

“Some restaurants, like Big Feast, added retail, like groceries, to their business. The flower shop has been offering workshops online that have been popular. Some restaurants started doing delivery that hadn’t before.”

If we choose to support each other by shopping in our own community, we can get through this together, commented Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden.

.

_______________________________

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Businessmaple ridgePitt MeadowsShop Local

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victor Okunev found this abandoned floating dock on the shores of Pitt Lake. (Facebook)
Nature lover takes it upon himself to clean up Styrofoam mess along Pitt Lake

“If you see trash – pick it up!” says Port Moody’s Victor Okunev

COVID-19 (Pixabay)
Garibaldi secondary in Maple Ridge exposed to COVID-19

Fourth case of virus at a high school in School District 42 in 2021

Snow is expected Saturday night and Sunday morning in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. (THE NEWS-files)
Snowfall coming to Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows this weekend

Two-to-five centimetres expected for most of the Lower Mainland

Bowen Byram played for the Vancouver Giants and makes his NHL debut Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Vancouver Giants/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley-based Giants watching Byram’s NHL debut tonight closely

Bowen Byram played for the Giants for several years before being drafted by the Avalanche

U.S. politician Bernie Sanders sits on top of the horse clock. (Brenda Norrie/Special to The News)
U.S. politician Bernie Sanders pops up in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge residents get in on the meme action

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Most Read