The City of Maple Ridge received the Open for Business award in the large community category at the 16th annual Small Business B.C. Awards. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge wins big at Small Business B.C. Awards

City staff received the Open for Business award at the Feb. 21 ceremony

The City of Maple Ridge has been recognized as one of the most home-based business friendly jurisdictions in the province.

On Feb. 21 city staff received the Open for Business award in the large community category at the 16th annual Small Business B.C. Awards. They presented it to council on Feb. 26.

“As someone who started my business in the dining room of my home, it is very rewarding to see our city recognized for the development of the most progressive home based business bylaws in the region,” said Mayor Morden.

“I want to commend our staff and the previous council who made this work a priority as part of our Economic Development Strategy. There are so many large businesses in our community that started, like mine, in a home office. This is a wonderful recognition of that reality.”

As part of the awards presentation judges said that a significant percentage of the businesses opportunity in Maple Ridge is being unlocked by home-based businesses.

“The potential for these businesses to grow into larger businesses inspired the city to revise and streamline regulations and take action to make it easier for home based businesses to do business in their community,” the judges said.

The Economic Development Committee formed the Home Based Business Task Force in 2016 to review the city’s zoning by-laws and licensing processes for home based businesses. The task force was made up of home based businesses from Maple Ridge and supported by staff from the Economic Development, Planning and Licence and Permits departments.

The goal of the task force was to encourage the establishment of more home-based businesses in Maple Ridge by loosening zoning regulations and streamlining the licensing processes for home based businesses.

In October 2017, the Planning Department presented a summary report at council workshop that summarized the community consultation activities and revised set of regulatory changes to the Zoning Bylaw for Council consideration. Bylaw No. 7394-2017 received final reading and was adopted by council on February 27, 2018.

The B.C. Small Business Roundtable gives a voice to small businesses in the province to the B.C. government. Members of the roundtable represent multiple industries and regions across the province to ensure that key issues that affect small business success are addressed. Issues include reducing the costs of doing business to maintain and strengthen economic growth and competitiveness, increasing access to labour and skilled workers, and the promotion and awareness of programs, services and supports for small businesses.

Small Business B.C. a resource centre for knowledge-based business products and services whose mandate is to provide affordable, accessible training that assists small businesses improve productivity, increase profitability and take advantage of new business opportunities. The organization receives funds from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

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