*the Big Spend List will go live on the site closer to the big day.
San Francisco’s Chinatown was re-created in Minecraft video game by a group of students and recent grads to preserve the neighborhood’s rich history.
Members of the Chinatown Community Development Center youth groups, spent months faithfully re-creating the San Francisco neighborhood in the world-building video game. A lot of the re-creations were built from images found on Google Images and Google Maps, where crowded streets of Chinatown often obscure certain details these kids are trying to render; in a way, they’re rebuilding the Chinatown of the recent past to keep its tourist aesthetic in the present.
Edmonton earmarks $12M for COVID-19 projects for 2021
Edmonton will spend $12 million this year on COVID-specific initiatives to help the city cope with the pandemic, city council agreed Wednesday. The funding includes tax relief for businesses in 13 areas of the city and $1.3 million to support vaccination operations at the EXPO Centre. It includes nearly $6 million to install ultraviolet air-purification technology in Edmonton Transit vehicles.
Parkdale FitPlay supports Black fitness leaders to help locals take care of their mental and physical health while exploring parks
The local business improvement area connected with Black people in the fitness industry (yoga instructor, baseball coach, track athlete and boxing coach). On the Parkdale FitPlay Instagram account, these instructors take turns demonstrating how to do exercises with proper form. Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/parkdalefitplay/
How it works: Community members are encouraged to visit designated public park locations and participate in self-led physical exercise and play, inspired by the FitPlay letter key. Each letter of the alphabet, A to Z, is associated with a simple exercise most can perform some variation of safely. E.g. A = 10 high knees on the spot.
Participants self-select a word or phrase and perform the exercises associated with each letter. E.g. P A R K D A L E = 10 squats, 10 high knees on the spot, etc. Mix up your FitPlay by choosing a new word, a new park or a new challenge each time and invite your Parkdale friends and neighbours to do the same.
Shop Old Town Toronto: A shop local campaign that splits prize money wins between individuals supporting local businesses & the local business
The St. Lawrence BIA and OLD Town have launched a support local campaign. Save & upload receipts of $25 or more (excluding delivery and tip) from local businesses February 8 – April 5, 2021, for multiple chances to win — $500 is for the shopper and $500 for a local business. In addition there is one grand prize of $2K to be split with local business. Prize money is donated by BMO bank
Edmonton city council approves $22.9-million tax break grant program for residential developers building downtown
The program designed to bring growth to the core of the city, eligible projects must be built in a defined “Centre City” area. The incentives include freezing property taxes until 2027. The intent of the program is to provide financial relief for construction projects in the city’s core that might not be able to proceed without that support.
Winnipeg launches public bathroom project with 3 new temporary facilities
Three new temporary washroom spaces in Winnipeg opened their doors Tuesday as part of a City of Winnipeg project to make it easier to find a bathroom for people experiencing homelessness. The project, called Places to Go, features three bathroom spaces at 473 Selkirk Ave., 345 Portage Ave. and 26 Osborne St. The locations were chosen in consultation with End Homelessness Winnipeg and other community stakeholders. “The Places to Go strategy is about profound human dignity and making sure that Winnipeg’s most vulnerable among us have access to basic human rights and necessities.
Free shopper tool during COVID-19
Find local businesses OPEN for WALK-IN, PICKUP or DELIVERY. Searchable, mobile-friendly directory and map of Greater Toronto area stores.
City of Toronto launches ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program to support Toronto’s main street businesses by promoting events celebrating art, culture and community to encourage business during winter
ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant. Business Improvement Associations (BIA), community groups, not-for-profits and charitable organizations are eligible to apply. The program will fund 50 per cent of eligible project costs such as winter lighting, additional marketing and advertising, and supplemental sidewalk snow clearing. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program is Monday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available online.
ShowLoveTO Partnership Program
The ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is intended for community activations in Toronto between January 1 and December 31, 2021. Registered not-for-profit organizations, community groups and charities that serve Toronto residents and promote opportunities for the community to give back are eligible to apply. Activations may be online or in person and may include performing arts, dance, drama, comedy, virtual-online events, music, visual arts, literary arts, interdisciplinary arts, photography, craft, design, as well as expressions of history and heritage. All activations must demonstrate the capacity to follow current provincial and municipal public health guidelines. Applicants can apply for one-time support of up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is Friday, December 11 at 5 p.m.
City of Toronto launches Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan
To help people stay active this winter season, the City is highlighting its offering of new and enhanced exercise-based recreation activities in parks locations across Toronto. The Welcome T.O. Winter plan provides safe ways for people to get outside in Toronto’s parks, including at our 54 artificial ice rinks and five golf courses. This includes:
- 23 toboggan hills in neighbourhoods across Toronto
- 8 snow loops for walking and snowshoeing at the City’s five golf courses
- Free, leisure skating at the City’s 54 outdoor ice rinks
- Six disc-golf locations
- New guided outdoor Walk Fit programs, including 45 sessions each week
- High Park car-free weekends
- City parks with additional 60 kilometres of paved recreational trails and pathways with snow maintenance
- 100 parks with winter maintenance, including 60 with enhanced maintenance this year including cleared parking lots and paved pathways
- Up to 30-plus natural ice rinks – the City is accepting applications until December 31 for community-built and maintained natural ice rinks in City parks
- The City will more than double its supply of winter park washrooms from 64 to 143 as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19
- ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant. The ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program will support Toronto’s main street businesses by promoting events celebrating art, culture and community to encourage business during the coldest months of the year. Business Improvement Associations (BIA), community groups, not-for-profits and charitable organizations are eligible to apply. The program will fund 50 per cent of eligible project costs such as winter lighting, additional marketing and advertising, and supplemental sidewalk snow clearing. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program is Monday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available online.
The City of Montreal is rolling out new winter activities for the pandemic for the entirety of the 2020-21 winter season.
- implementation of 25 “winter stations” designed to allow Montrealers to enjoy the city’s outdoor public places — including squares, parks or vacant spaces near commercial hubs — during the winter. The winter stations were designed in collaboration with local architects and designers and are part of the city’s effort to encourage Montrealers to buy local, as the downtown stations will be situated near shops.
- winter activities in Montreal parks and beyond. This will include winter markets, but also winter sporting activities in almost every major Montreal park beginning in December. Since sports-related activities are prohibited in COVID-19 red zones, the city is allowing for outdoor play by making cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice skating and fat biking available. Montrealers can borrow equipment for free.
- heated areas and restrooms will be available to allow Montrealers to warm up after a day of activities.
- parks will also offer an outdoor “ocean” expedition presented by the Biosphere, to allow Montrealers to observe the birds, flora and fauna of the area.
Activities can be booked online through the city’s website. More details will be made available in the coming weeks on the city of Montreal’s web portal.
A Toronto Neighbourhood unveiled the NOT FOR LEASE campaign to encourage those to shop local
The campaign, created by ad agency The Local Collective, spans three blocks and features more than 50 storefronts along Roncesvalles Avenue papered up with signs that say “For Lease.”
Downtown Prince George’s Plaid Friday asks you to show local businesses some love
Plaid Friday, the local alternative to ‘Black Friday’. The annual event to encourage people to spend their dollars locally, have some fun wearing plaid and to celebrate the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses is taking place this Friday in Prince George. The fifth annual Plaid Friday campaign for Prince George will look a little different in 2020 as organizers adhere to all COVID-19 public health restrictions. This year all you have to do is put on something plaid —pretty much the uniform of northern B.C. – and shop locally.
The West End BIZ has put together locally sourced holiday gift boxes that include goods from 14 different West End businesses.
The gift boxes are a great way to support our local businesses and discover new businesses in Winnipeg’s West End neighbourhood.
A shop local campaign in Edmonton encourages locals to #adoptashopYEG
A local Edmonton blogger spearheaded this campaign which is on its third iteration. Struggling businesses are nominated to be adopted and people sign up and commit to spending a certain amount in the shop (i.e., $60). The list of shops represented 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour)-Owned shops. In November 2020, 200 sign up spots were filled for #AdoptAShopYEG: ATB Neighbourhood Hop! At a $60 minimum spend per person, we’ll collectively spend $12,000 at 64 businesses across Edmonton. Patrons are also encouraged to post on social media.
The City of Vancouver is seeking feedback on potential policy changes that encourage “retail continuity,” by filling vacant ground-level storefronts with new uses.
In the Downtown Eastside, Hastings and Powell streets are lined with vacant storefronts, dogged by the area’s social issues. The City of Vancouver is aiming to create policies that could potentially help reverse this trend.
The City of Montreal is implementing new measures and $6 million in funding to encourage Montrealers to visit main streets & buy local
Six new actions include:
- installations in the downtown area for the winter season designed to “add to the shopping experience”
- financial support for campaigns implemented by merchants’ groups and chambers of commerce
- adding $1.5 million to the Commercial Activities Consolidation Fund, designed to support small businesses to ensure they can increase the quality of services, including on the digital market and the physical development of their place of business.
- free on-street parking on weekends
- businesses can extend opening hours to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 7 p.m. on weekends from Nov. 14 to Dec. 31
- support and promotion to continue urban delivery for local merchants
Edmonton’s Downtown Recovery Task Force launches a Downtown Clean-up Event.
Join the Downtown Business Association, Downtown Edmonton Community League, and partners on the Downtown Recovery Task Force for a huge Downtown Clean-up Event.
On October 23rd between 3-5 pm, Edmontonians will take to the streets to help keep our city clean to the Core. Once complete, help us celebrate the kick-off of winter patio season Downtown! The first 200 registrants will receive a $5 voucher from the DBA redeemable at select Downtown patios that evening. All registrants will receive an e-notice within two days of the event noting their street clean-up assignment and where to pick-up their appropriate clean-up gear courtesy of the City of Edmonton Capital City Clean Up team.
Six approaches to improving the look and feel of the city centre of Bradford (UK).
- Use empty retail spaces and 1st & 2nd floors to encourage independent shops and to incubate a recycle, repair and regenerate artisanal industry to create a healthy mix of well-designed work/live spaces.
- Use available micro spaces to set up pocket parks, as in cities such as Tokyo, Barcelona and San Francisco.
- Convert more streets to pedestrian use only, widen pavements on shared streets, and create better links to public transport.
- Strengthen alliances with other like-minded groups in Bradford to engage with Council to ensure a generous level of consultation well before important planning decisions are made.
- Work with community groups in Bradford to create activity spaces that can be enjoyed by all the city’s communities.
- Join with other groups to exchange ideas and learn from experiences.
Calgary Dollars enable you to Earn, Buy, Sell, and Exchange
Post ads, earn rewards, and be local!
Supporting main streets in Quebec City through “Solidarity Dollars” to alleviate the precariousness of businesses during COVID19.
This group has created a local currency so that the contributors’ investment can be returned directly to participating businesses. This currency will be available in paper or digital form through the Wyse Wallet app.
The project will consolidate the achievements of the commercial arteries and allow citizens to participate concretely in the recovery by investing in hyperlocal entrepreneurship. Let us be # solidairespournosartères!
Downtown Live, an initiative headed by Edmonton’s Downtown Business Association, was created to give Edmontonians an option to be outside and enjoy themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic days.
It is also a chance for downtown business owners to draw an audience.
The City of Chicago is seeking solutions to stimulate and encourage safe outdoor dining, for both customers and restaurant/bar staff, during cold weather months
- Solutions must be centered around facilitating in-person outdoor dining experiences, rather than delivery or take out
- Solutions may relate to physical space as well as operations/service
- Winning solutions are eligible to receive a $5,000 cash prize. A total of three winners will be chosen.
- Selected ideas are eligible to access potential piloting opportunities that will be funded by corporate sponsors. Building on the success of the outdoor dining program, the City of Chicago will be piloting this in many areas, including those in the INVEST South/West program for prototyping.
A group of small businesses get together to finances to create and manage a new community patio, beer garden and food hub for physical distancing in a parking lot
Called Gerrard East Market, it comes with two decks, picnic tables, umbrellas, an outdoor screen showing sports, lighting and 22 tonnes of sand.
We Are Santa Fe Safe is helping local businesses to be COVID-safe through an easy to use program toolkit, step-by-step infographic, COVID-safe cheat sheet (and additional resources list), employee survey, marketing and PR tips, and social media assets
It’s a program any business can benefit from no matter where the are in their COVID-reopening journey. The strategy focuses on employees as advocacy champions because when employees feel able to come back to work safely, their positive attitude will inspire customers to return. Business owners and managers must make good on that promise and commit to an appropriate action plan that keeps their workplace safe. Employees are given an option to play a big role in our initiative, too. Through simple how-to’s Employees are invited to record a 10-20 second video about the steps their workplace has taken to protect them, which the program will share on social media channels to help promote the business.
The Big Spend is a one day activity (July 25) to encourage purchases at local businesses to revive the local economy with a goal of getting 1M Cdns involved
3 STEPS TO BE PART OF THE BIG SPEND
Ground Floor Pop-Up Toolkit A resource for landlords & storefront activators to create win-win dynamics on the path to recovery from COVID-19
Are you interested in creating (or hosting) a pop-up but are not sure where to start?
In the wake of COVID-19 Wallplay has created a toolkit on how vacant spaces can be repurposed for public good. Wallplay has been facilitating pop-ups since 2013, we helped pioneer the “vacant space as pop-up venue” model and we are excited to share what we’ve learned.
Winnipeg’s West End Business Improvement Area helps organize physically distanced dinner parties while supporting local businesses
West End Feast With Friends: Build-Your-Own Dinner Party
Support local businesses and enjoy a unique, personalized experience with the people you care about, all from the privacy of your home. When you book a party, you will customize your event by choosing the number of participants, type of cuisine, and tour theme.
Each meal includes an appetizer, entrée and side dish, which you and your guests will savour as your tour guide takes you on a virtual adventure to learn about local art, architecture, history and more. Celebrate your graduation, create a fun first date story, or just get together with your friends after a long spring apart!
Buy Local Ottawa: Links to support Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses as the local economy reopens
Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of the city. To help support as the local economy reopens, useful links and resources are assembled on this page.
- #MyOttawa Pass is Ottawa’s very own local savings passport, complete with an impressive collection of discounts and offers from businesses across the city.
- Shop Ottawa is an online directory of local businesses, products and services.
- Local Eats Ottawa offers a compiled list of Ottawa restaurants offering food delivery or pickup.
- SavourOttawa.ca is a one-stop site on how to buy locally produced food and beverages in the Ottawa region.
- Together-Apart.ca is a resource for the residents of this city to find local spots to order from and support.
- Edible Ottawa to ensure that local food communities remain strong.
- Love Local Delivery to order from Ottawa’s best independent, locally owned and operated food businesses! Easy Scheduled & On-Demand delivery provided by dedicated, carefully vetted and smart-serve trained drivers.
- And links to local BIAs that offer detailed information on local business offerings
The City of Victoria’s move to allow businesses to build patios on street “flex spaces” may continue past the pandemic.
Victoria’s downtown business association says it will be a key to keep the dollars tourists usually bring flowing. And that the impact will be far beyond just those with patios.
Restarting Restaurants, Food Services & Retail webinars for Downtown Victoria businesses
Run a restaurant or food service business? Have questions about reopening and operating safely during COVID-19? Join us Wednesday, June 10th 10AM – 11:30AM for a FREE Q&A session. The expert panel includes the Chief Medical Officer for Island Health and the BC Restaurant and Food Association. These sessions are co-hosted by the Downtown Victoria Business Association and Community Micro Lending. As we adjust to living and working with COVID-19, we’re offering two sessions to help businesses reopen and operate safely: Two webinars planned:
Restarting Restaurants & Food Services on Wednesday, June 10th 10AM – 11:30AM
Restarting Retail on Thursday, June 11th 11AM – 12:30PM