The Chamber of Commerce has a new executive with a focus of ensuring businesses in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows bounce back from the economic downturn brought on by the global pandemic.
“Were trying to concentrate as much as we can on COVID-19, and the business recovery from it,” said second-year president Al Hogarth. “It’s been rough on businesses, obviously.”
The former Maple Ridge mayor said Chamber executive director Flori Chaykoski is working to ensure businesses know what supports are there from governments to help ensure their enterprise survives.
The chamber has a COVID-19 resource page on its website at ridgemeadowschamber.com, and it lists opportunities such as the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.
The chamber will also move ahead with an ambitious goal to increase its membership by 75 per cent by the year 2023. Hogarth believes it is a realistic goal, and said the chamber needs to make business people aware of benefits such as its medical/dental plan, that can help even home-based businesses.
Maple Ridge lawyer Eric Mollema is new vice president, replacing former city councillor Corisa Bell after her term on the board ended. Ricardo Castro and Jared Bissky remain as treasurer and secretary, respectively.
All four are directors with one year remaining of their two-year term, as are Alicia Peterson, Brian Timmins and Ralph Altenried. This will be Altenried’s eighth year serving on the board, so it will be his last in accordance with the maximum set out in bylaws.
New directors starting a two-year term are Caillie Hayes, Aaron Collins, and Michael Morris.
“I’m looking forward to working with new folks, and of course the existing (members),” said Hogarth.