Around 75 per cent of downtown Maple Ridge businesses are closed. (Colleen Flanagan-THE NEWS)

Around 75 per cent of downtown Maple Ridge businesses are closed. (Colleen Flanagan-THE NEWS)

Plans already underway to help Maple Ridge businesses survive COVID-19

Chamber, downtown business association, and city working to help local companies

Work on a business recovery and resiliency plan is already underway for the City of Maple Ridge.

City economic development staff held a special meeting on Thursday, April 9, to discuss what form this will take when restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted.

From the discussions, recommendations are to be forwarded onto the city’s Mayor and council.

Currently the city has created a COVID-19 business resource webpage which puts all the federal and provincial support resources in one location.

The mobile numbers of city staff are also located on this page so any business can call directly to get one-on-one confidential assistance with navigating and accessing the programs that are available.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge downtown association hands out favourite business awards

Staff have also been doing business check-ins, sending out surveys each week with a set of consistent questions.

“We are focusing on employers in the various areas in Maple Ridge where the COVID-19 impacts may not be as visible as they are in the downtown centre,” said Wendy Dupley, director of economic development for the city.

The Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association is also keeping in touch with businesses in their area and collecting that information, added Dupley.

READ MORE: Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Ineke Boekhorst, executive director of the DMRBIA, is hopeful downtown businesses will be able to land on their feet.

She estimates that around 75 per cent of businesses in the downtown core are now closed.

“It’s really hard to re-establish. It really depends on how long this all takes,” she said, adding that for business owners, where this is their only source of income, it will be the most challenging.

“Even with deferring payments, rents, lease, utilities – you have to pay it at some point – and that’s really difficult for small businesses to do,” she said.

City staff are continuing to meet virtually bi-weekly with tourism business partners and stakeholders to ensure that they stay connected, continued Dupley.

The DTMRBIA and Chamber of Commerce have also collaborated on a set of lists of open businesses so that residents can connect with those offering essential services during the COVID-19 health emergency.

And a special edition of the Ridge Business Buzz newsletter was recently distributed.

According to survey results, Dupley said, most Maple Ridge businesses believe they will be OK in the short term but are concerned about the potential longer term impacts on the economy, in general, and the effects on supply chains.

Boekhorst is encouraging businesses to decorate downtown windows with hearts and rainbows.

“People realize that our downtown is suffering,” she said.

“We’re all in this together.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

If you have a letter you’d like to submit to the editor for consideration, please email us at <a href=""><strong></strong></a>. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
LETTER: Continuing push to electrify rail service

Amid controversy about a new CP yard in Pitt Meadows, local reader suggests alternative system

Denise Castonguay with Rian, a five-year-old Newfoundland who has retired from breeding. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Maple Ridge breeders “overwhelmed” as demand for dogs skyrocket

With an average two year wait for purebreds, prices inflated for mixed breeds and designer dogs

There is a COVID-19 outbreak at Maple Ridge Seniors Village. (Google)
COVID-19 outbreak at Maple Ridge long-term care home

Maple Ridge Seniors Village among 536 new cases

RCMP arrested Anthony Randy Kalt in December of 2020. (File photo)
Charges approved against Maple Ridge man after crime spree

Arrest warrant issued for second suspect from Surrey

COVID-19. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure event at Pitt Meadows secondary

Second high school in school district 42 with coronavirus in new year

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

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

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in 60 B.C. First Nations by next week

B.C. has allocated 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations for distribution by the end of February

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

Wireless voice and data services are out for those on Telus as of Thursday (Jan. 14) afternoon across Western Canada, Telus Support said in a recent Tweet. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Telus services restored across Western Canada

Telus said they are monitoring the situation to ensure connections remain stable

Screenshot from video.
2 students arrested in assault of transgender girl at Lower Mainland school

Mother says daughter was targeted because of how she identifies

Most Read