Today, Canadian seniors are healthier, better educated, and wealthier than ever before, and they happen to be the fastest-growing age group in the country.
Businesses that recognize this demographic reality and strive to meet the needs of aging customers are giving themselves a distinct business advantage – one the Township of Langley would like to spotlight.
Last year, the Township launched an Age-friendly Business Recognition Program to acknowledge local businesses that have made a commitment to serving customers of all ages and abilities with dignity and respect. Staff have opened up a second intake for new applications from local businesses, and the July 31 application deadline to the program is fast approaching. Businesses that would like to take part are encouraged to sign up at tol.ca/agefriendlybusiness.
Interested businesses will be asked to complete an age-friendly business self-assessment of criteria such as accessibility, customer service, visibility, and safety, as part of the application. The assessments will be reviewed by Township staff and the Age-friendly Business Recognition certificate recipients will be announced in August.
Businesses recognized will receive a certificate for display in their business, and will be acknowledged on the Township’s website.
“Being recognized as an Age-friendly Business shows your customers that your business values being part of a socially-inclusive community and helps to build a loyal customer base,” said Val Gafka, the Township’s Senior Manager of Economic Investment and Development. “Small steps can make a big difference in meeting the needs of aging customers, especially in a community such as the Township of Langley, where 37% of our population is aged 50 plus.”
In June, a new pilot project was conducted in Walnut Grove, where local seniors nominated area businesses that they felt were age-friendly, through a set of criteria. Eleven nominees meet the full criteria and will soon receive the Age-friendly Business recognition certificate, joining numerous others that have already achieved certification.
The seniors who did the nominating will also be recognized later this summer.
“We are grateful to all the senior residents who participated in this pilot project,” Gafka said. “Clearly they have a strong understanding of the local business environment and the purchasing power that seniors hold, as well as a passion to ensure businesses understand their needs.”
The Township of Langley’s age-friendly businesses are listed online at tol.ca/agefriendlybusiness.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Economic Investment and Development Department at 604.533.6084.