Maple Ridge is in the running to win the Open for Business award that’s given out every year by the B.C. Small Business Roundtable.
The city’s entry was based on its efforts to make it easier for residents and would-be entrepreneurs to start up home-based businesses.
Staff collaborated with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce and local business owners already operating out of their homes to modernize and update zoning rules and regulations.
The changes allow home businesses to use a larger floor area, to hire more employees, to increase the number of clients able to frequent the business and added new categories to the home-based business, says a staff report.
“Your initiative is an excellent example of how Maple Ridge supports small businesses to grow and thrive in your community,” said Sue Adams with the B.C. Small Business Roundtable.
The city learns if it claims the top prize at the B.C. Awards Gala on Feb. 21 at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.
If Maple Ridge does win, it can display the Open for Business logo in its promotional materials.
Part of the consultation the city did was to hold coffee sessions with home-based business operators and to meet with Women’s AM and Babes in Business.
Staff also set up an information booth at the Haney Farmer’s Market to solicit ideas about how to make it easier to run a business from home.
More home-based business is one way of addressing the shortage of industrial land in Maple Ridge, says the city’s economic development department.