‘Open downtown stores in evenings’

Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association presents survey findings

A BIA survey showed that people wanted stores to stay open later at night.

A BIA survey showed that people wanted stores to stay open later at night.

When people come to downtown Maple Ridge, they’re looking to spend their money – either on shopping, events or seeing their doctor or lawyer.

And when they get to the town centre, they don’t mind a bit of a jaunt to get where they’re going.

“Most of them didn’t really have a lot of problem walking to their parking.

“And some are very smart about it too,” Ineke Boekhorst told Maple Ridge council Monday.

Boekhorst, with the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association, summarized a 2013 survey in which 200 people were interviewed, half online and half on a one-on-one basis.

Almost 30 per cent said they visited for shopping and 20 per cent visited downtown so they could attend events.

And while they all got to the centre by car, fewer than five per cent expected to be able to park in front of their desired business, while almost 45 per cent didn’t mind walking from one to five blocks.

The downtown, though, still has an image problem.

Half of those surveyed felt either safe or very safe when on the downtown streets.

But 35 per cent felt “a little concerned,” while about eight per cent said they don’t feel safe.

It’s a topic the survey acknowledges needs more research, pointing out the feelings of unease don’t correlate with any particular age, or time of day, noting the answers seem to be based on perception rather than facts.

“Overall, in general, people feel quite safe.

“There’s not a lot of facts about why people don’t feel safe, just perception,” Boekhorst said.

People do want to see longer hours for shops and more specialty stores and fine dining.

About 85 per cent said they’d do more local shopping if the stores were open past 5 p.m.

“Bottom line, our shops would probably be better if they were open at night,” Boekhorst said.

When people were asked about which brand they’d like to see, 72 per cent said they wanted brand-name clothing and shoe stores, while 26 per cent wanted more chain restaurants, bistros and outdoor patios.

Another 23 per cent said they wanted to see either Walmart or Costco in the downtown.

A word cloud graphic involving a jumble of words showed the same thing. The larger the name appeared in print, the more it was mentioned in the survey.

Brand name clothing and Walmart were the largest names in the word cloud, followed by women’s fashion and shoes.

Chain restaurants were next biggest. Words in smaller print included Home Depot, Future Shop, a pub district and bistro.

Boekhorst highlighted some the BIA’s other programs as a prelude to the annual meeting May 12.

During the five years that the facade improvement program has been in place, 60 businesses have used the program that provides grants to help fix up store fronts.

Boekhorst acknowledged a small, but growing percentage of the 1,000 members in the association participate in the shop local campaigns, but noted 300 of the membership are property owners and many members are professional services.

“We’re trying to find more and more projects that all businesses can get involved in.”

 

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

Eric Antell (centre) receives a commendation from Ridge Meadows RCMP Acting Officer in Charge Wendy Mehat (left). (Ridge Meadows RCMP photo/ Facebook)
VIDEO: Maple Ridge man gets commendation for assisting Mountie under attack

Eric Antell tackled a suspect who was assaulting a police officer on Christmas Day 2019

Caitlin Toews, operations director of The Asante Centre, says more supports are needed for people with FASD. (Special to The News)
More supports ‘urgently’ needed for those living with FASD

Wait-lists for supports at Maple Ridge centre can mean the difference between life and death

Rich Goulet in 2015. (THE NEWS/files)
STM renames Chancellor Tournament for Rich Goulet

Iconic Pitt Meadows coach memorialized by the high school where he started

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Former B.C. premier says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

Clark testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Surrey RCMP reunited three stolen puppies with their mom. (RCMP handout)
Puppies stolen from South Surrey home located, reunited with mom

Surrey RCMP said they found the stolen puppies on April 16

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

A woman is vaccinated at a Maple Ridge clinic. (Black Press files)
Fraser Health providing priority AZ immunization for people 40+ in COVID hotpots

Six Surrey neighbourhoods, North Delta, PoCo, South Langley Township, and West Abbotsford targeted

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to go forward with legal action

Cash seized in a 2018 RCMP drug bust in the Lower Mainland. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP-led drug investigation nets charges for 4 in Lower Mainland

Cops seized 12 kilograms of MDMA and $380K executing several search warrants in the Lower Mainland in 2018

Most Read