Unable to do the walks in person, the Township arranged for Mayor Jack Froese, others on council and staff in the Economic Development Office to connect with local businesses around the Township via computer chats.
“Local business has adapted to a new way of doing business,” said Froese. “They have diversified their services and added new ways to deliver to their customers. For example, during this pandemic, on-line shopping and curbside pick-up are avenues that allow all of us to receive our goods while staying safe.”
October is Small Business Month in B.C. In recognition of the countless contributions that the business community makes in the Township, and challenges business have endured in 2020 through a global pandemic, the Township held a Digital Business Walk. They reached out to store-front businesses in Fort Langley and Murrayville between Monday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 30.
“We want to learn from business owners first-hand how they have managed through COVID-19 and more generally about what’s working, what could be working better, and what opportunities may be on the business’s horizon,” said Val Gafka, the Township’s senior manager of Economic Investment and Development. “Staff continue to build localized, online resources and information for Township businesses which we will raise for awareness during our Business Walk conversations.”
Launched by the BC Economic Development Association in 2012, Business Walks are designed to build relationships in the community, gain insight into local business climate issues, and share information with businesses to support the resiliency of a strong and vibrant community. It is an important yet informal opportunity for local leaders and stakeholders to connect with the local businesses. COVID-19 has heightened the awareness of how each business’s resiliency is instrumental to the economy.
This Business Walk will be the fourth conducted by the Township of Langley. In previous years, each Business Walk was conducted in-person with walk teams in the community. The Township, through Business Walk ‘teams’, successfully conducted its first Business Walk in 2015 in Brookswood, 2016 in Aldergrove, and again in 2019 in Walnut Grove and Willoughby.
This initiative has been redesigned to be digital in 2020.
Our annual Business Walk starts Monday and we're dialing it up this year! Mayor Froese & staff will reach out to small businesses in Fort Langley & Murrayville by phone Oct 26 – 30. Participate from any Township community at https://t.co/tcisI2N3DB pic.twitter.com/5XlMpAl20U
— Township of Langley (@LangleyTownship) October 22, 2020
In addition, to increase the reach of this year’s activity, from Oct. 14 to Nov. 6, the Township is hosting an online business survey at invest.tol.ca/businesswalk which is open to all business in the Township. The online format contains the same questions as the Digital Business Walk.
All data collected during the Business Walk and through the online business survey remains confidential and is aggregated into summary findings. Staff will also report back to mayor and council, as well as to the Township’s Agricultural Advisory and Economic Enhancement Committee, with the aggregated findings. Separately, a results summary will be made available to each business that participated in the Business Walk.
To learn more about the 2020 Township of Langley Digital Business Walk, or to take the online business survey, visit invest.tol.ca/businesswalk. Take the survey.
The Township’s Economic Investment and Development team is available to help support the local business community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604.533.6084.