Many of the world’s great cities are known by their bridges. San Francisco has the Golden Gate, New York has The Brooklyn, Sydney – The Harbour, Vancouver - The Lions Gate, and Paris – Pont Neuf. There are many more that have captivated visitors and made an indelible mark on a city’s identity.
What is it about a bridge that stays with us?
The architectural prowess and feats of engineering that were required to build it? The beauty of the design? Or could it be something deeper and more intrinsic to what a bridge represents?
The idea of spanning a chasm, connecting two places together means freedom, opportunity and unity. A bridge elevates us physically and mentally and can take us somewhere new and in so doing become a destination unto itself.
At MAPLE Business Council, at its core, our mission is in fact about bridge building. We are creating a community in Canada and Southern California that is linked together by a common purpose to foster more opportunities for businesses to collaborate between our geographies through trade and investment. Facilitating Southern California client opportunities for a Canadian company, new markets for a Southern California business. Scaling a startup’s innovation, growth for an established enterprise. Our MAPLE “bridge” supports businesses at all growth stages and sectors. We are linking a nation and a region fortified by the participation and expertise of all our members.
It is perhaps not surprising that a bridge plays a big role between Canadian-American trade. The Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, Michigan is the busiest border crossing in North America as measured by trade volume accounting for 25% of all merchandise trade. The border crossing supports 150,000 jobs in the region and US$13 billion in annual production.
Our bridge is still under construction and may never be truly finished. So we invite you to travel on the MAPLE bridge with us as a guest or member in 2016. For sponsors, MAPLE is a special and unique opportunity to support your regional business goals and corporate citizenship commitments. If Canada or Southern California is part of your brand's DNA, sponsoring our bridge is truly on point (or should that be on "pont"?) But however we engage together, we want to thank you for buttressing a great partnership and friendship that exists between Canada and Southern California.
And for helping us to build a new bridge together.
Stephen Armstrong is co-founder of MAPLE Business Council, a non-profit senior executive council focused on promoting trade and investment between Canada and Southern California. Stephen is principal of The 360 Marketer, a marketing consultancy. For more information on MAPLE, please visit www.maplesocal.com.