The Ladner Business Association has been giving the local business community a voice for many years.
The association, which is governed by a board of directors and made up entirely of volunteers, works to fulfill several different purposes: to promote awareness of the goods and services provided by the Ladner business community; to articulate and promote the interests of the business community to the public at large and to the surrounding areas; and to promote the well being of the community of Ladner.
Through weekly meetings, members have the chance to network and build relationships with other local business people, learn about things happening in the community and discuss issues affecting both businesses and Ladner as a whole.
There are often guest speakers talking about a variety of topics affecting the community, and local politicians also regularly attend to keep members abreast of what's going on locally, provincially and nation-wide, and how it impacts local businesses.
"Not much is going to get done if you just sit in your own business and complain," says LBA president Brad Cooper.
When an issue arises, the LBA looks at how the association can help effect change and make things better.
For example, the issue of parking, or the lack of it, in the village core has been a source of frustration for many business owners. After some discussions at LBA meetings, the association approached the municipality about erecting signs to indicate the location of some alternate parking spaces.
"It's just a place to get your voice heard," Cooper says.
With major projects on the horizon for South Delta, the LBA has taken on a new role.
"We are tackling a strategic plan with all of the changes that are occurring in South Delta," Cooper says, adding that with the Tsawwassen First Nation development, the South Fraser Perimeter Road and plans for Ladner's waterfront, the association decided to do some forward thinking to help guide how these changes will affect the business community.
"Rather than view the TFN development as a negative, we chose to view it as a positive," he says, adding it will bring many more potential shoppers to the area.
Cooper says the LBA wants to work with the TFN and other stakeholders to make sure an awareness of the other areas of South Delta is created in the hopes that some of the visitors to the TFN shopping centres might also stop by Ladner Village on their way through.
From the start of the process, the LBA has also been at the table offering input, feedback and ideas for the Ladner Harbour redevelopment.
Over the years the LBA has organized and sponsored many annual events - the Easter parade and egg hunt, the Quilt Walk and Car Show, Breakfast with Santa, tree lighting and children's Christmas parade - that create memories and lasting family traditions.
The association also believes in giving back. It actively supports members of the community and local charities like the Delta Hospice, Delta Hospital Foundation, Roberts Bank Lifeboat Society - Delta and the local food bank.
The association sponsors scholarships at Delta Secondary and the Kwantlen Polytechnic University trades program, donated $5,000 to the families affected by the fire on 48th Avenue and contributed to the new roof on Fishermen's Hall.
In recent years, the association has worked to revamp its website, www. ladnerbusiness.com, making it a wealth of information and a communication tool. It's a one-stop-shop where anyone can go to look up a local business or get information on upcoming events, as well, members can look up minutes from recent meetings and even advertise on the site.
The LBA has in excess of 130 members and is always looking for more. For more information about the Ladner Business Association, or to register as a member, visit www. ladnerbusiness.com.