Aldergrove realtor Jodi Steeves has been a whirlwind of positive energy and ideas since she took over the helm of the Aldergrove Business Association (ABA) earlier this year.
As ABA president Steeves has launched a number of high-profile campaigns to promote the downtown core as a viable home for new businesses.
Working in concert with the Township of Langley, and with the valuable help of past ABA president Rob Wilson and many volunteer helpers, Steeves has developed a number of promotional video clips, including a new series which starts Oct. 1 on Facebook.
These short one-minute videos will focus on individual store-owners talking about their businesses and what they hope to see in the community. Each week there will be a new video with a different member of the ABA featured.
“My husband Scott has recorded video, with ABA members talking about business and the message ‘shop local’ which he has to edit down to one minute each,” said Steeves, Friday.
This is just one of several initiatives Steeves has in the works.
With the help of the Township the ABA has undertaken two surveys, one consisting of business feedback on last year’s Cruise-in’s impacts on the local economy (another survey for the recent second annual Cruise-In in Aldergrove is in the works), as well as a public online survey on community feedback on what residents would like to see in downtown Aldergrove.
“”We had 341 responses, which was great to see, and we got some really good feedback. My husband compiled all the results Thursday, it took him eight hours, and we’re using this as a tool to help brings new businesses to the vacant storefront downtown,” said Steeves.
Among the responses to what types of businesses people want to see here were 269 wanting a bakery, 163 wanting markets and 164 wanting an ice cream shop.
Respondents also provided their views on traffic calming measures, exterior lighting, the hanging floral basket program and the street banners.
“I shared the questions we asked with the Township first to get their suggestions on what information would be useful to them so that it wasn’t a waste of time, and now I’ll be forwarding the responses to the Township for brainstorming on the next steps,” said Steeves.
“The Township is also working on a proposed simple one-page facade guideline for the downtown, so that it’s not too expensive. Then we’ll come up with three options for what the Township and the businesses would like to see for revitalization of the downtown. To find out what is the look you want to see downtown.”
The Township has also come up with three storefront window banners to promote rentals of vacant commercial spaces.
These colourful banners fill an entire storefront window, with images of a fitness centre and cafes, and the message “Imagine your business here.”
Steeves is also trying to lead by example by decorating the front of her real estate office. The glass was broken by thieves in September and she had temporarily boarded it up while she awaits delivery of 3M film-covered glass which makes it impossible to enter the store even if the glass is broken. She hopes that this along with security cameras will deter thieves, while not making her office look like a jail with security bars.
“We want to see the bars gone, to make stores more inviting and friendly looking, and I have some other decorating ideas to make my storefront look ‘cute’ without anyone getting hurt tripping over anything.
“It’s baby steps but it could have a domino effect and encourage others to do something like what I’m doing. I’m always thinking of how I can ‘one-plus’ Aldergrove,” said Steeves.
Also coming up for the ABA, which meets monthly in the second floor offices of the Aldergrove Credit Union on 272nd Street, is a speaker series featuring Keith Cornies of Aim Coaching.
This speaker series will run on November 28, January 23 and March 20, 6-8 p.m., and the two-hour long social and presentation will be free of charge to ABA members, and $99 for non-members.
“Annual ABA memberships are $100 so that makes it very attractive to join the ABA, and get in on Cornies’ presentations for free,” said Steeves.
The ABA socials will run every other month at the following dates and places: Oct. 24 at Aldergrove Credit Union on 272nd St., Dec. 19 at Jodi Steeves’ office on Fraser Hwy., and Feb. 20 at Marlin Travel on Fraser Hwy. Further details will be published closer to the date but mark your calendars for these friendly get-togethers.
Information on the ABA and its events are available online at https://www.aldergroveba.ca/