Business in Langley has changed a lot during the past few decades.
Langley was, for many years, a community whose business sector was defined by agriculture and small retail shops.
Through the past few decades, that has changed tremendously, and the Chamber’s role has changed with it.
Executive director Lynn Whitehouse said the Chamber has become much more active on the provincial level through the past few decades.
It has used its influence to call for reductions in red tape, and on the national level, it lobbied for a long time for the expansion of the Aldergrove border crossing now underway.
The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce was one of the early partners in the Regional Business Licence program, and is still pushing to expand it to more Lower Mainland communities.
Meanwhile, Langley is reaching out to the wider world, Whitehouse said.
“We have a lot of people getting into export, they’re really looking to expand their markets, and need a body to go to for help,” Whitehouse said.
The Chamber is already helping local businesses with things like certificates of origin, which have to be signed by local chambers for products heading out of Canada.
“I think there’s going to be a wider variety of businesses,” said Whitehouse.
Langley is not leaving behind agriculture, but other groups of businesspeople have become important.
Professionals like lawyers and accountants, along with service businesses that do work like training, have begun settling in Langley.
Manufacturing began expanding in the 1980s and 1990s, and has grown so fast it is beginning to run short of land in Aldergrove and Gloucester Industrial Park.
“I think this business community is going to change drastically in the next five to 10 years,” Whitehouse said. “It’s going to grow.”
Areas around 200th Street and 88th Avenue – near the Chamber’s new office – is one epicentre for future growth, Whitehouse said.