*the Big Spend List will go live on the site closer to the big day.
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.
The City of Halifax is considering ways to help improve the predictability of property taxes for commercial property and business owners by bringing in a rolling three-year Assessment Averaging Program.
This program will include phasing-in the annual valuation increase over a three-year period, for those properties exceeding the average commercial increase by five per cent.
This will offer more certainty to commercial property and business owners that experience sudden spikes in property assessments with the current annual valuation system.
Building Atlantic Canada’s entrepreneurship and innovation sector with focus on BIPOC entrepreneurs and BIPOC-led organizations
BIPOC entrepreneurs and BIPOC-led organizations in Atlantic Canada are forming strategic partnerships with incubators and accelerators as part of a co-operative effort to dismantle historical systemic barriers built even higher by the pandemic.
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
Albuquerque’s procurement process to benefit local business
The City of Albuquerque spends around $400 million a year on purchasing goods and services — excluding any CARES Act spending. About 65 percent of that already goes to local businesses in Albuquerque, including Diverse Office Supply, a partnership of two woman-owned Albuquerque businesses — one a manufacturer of office supplies, where 60 percent of its employees are adults with special needs, and the other a distributor. The partnership took on a $5 million-a-year contract with the city in 2019 that was previously held by a Florida-based supplier.
Town of Canmore’s Economic Recovery Plan backed by $281,000 in funding that focuses on business retention and survival during and post-pandemic.
The Plan is being rolled out and the website specifies the progress being made across each pillar.
Canmore is a small town (14,000 population) located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains
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.
Black Owned Toronto is an online platform dedicated to highlighting Black-owned businesses.
Often times it is very difficult to find Black-owned businesses in the city. This is a one stop shop for all shopping/service needs. This is also a great way to buy locally, and support the city’s economy!
‘Not Amazon’ is a website of (mostly) user-submitted small businesses to support across 4 Canadian cities and growing
The site operates like an online mall directory of exclusively independent businesses throughout the cities and online. Currently featuring thousands of shops in Toronto, Halifax, Calgary and Vancouver. It is free to submit a local business. You can search or just browse around by category: handmade, spirits, coffee & tea, stationery, music, home decor, vintage and more. Black and Indigenous-owned businesses and businesses owned by people of colour and people with disabilities are featured.
Next for Not-Amazon is to expand to more cities. People from other cities in Canada have volunteered to collect initial lists of businesses, which the website will then convert into the Not-Amazon website. Hamilton and Ottawa are next.
Winnipeg’s goodlocal allows you stay home, stay safe, buy essentials AND support local – all on one platform!
Ottawa’s ByWard has created a Holiday Box with curated food items found in a variety of local shops
Each box lets the purchaser support over a dozen local businesses and helping them and their family have a better holiday season as well. There are two options: pick up or local delivery.
Bag of Toronto – lets you order a curated assortment of specialty products from local vendors in 5 Toronto neighbourhoods
There are five editions that you can purchase, each from a different neighbourhood. Each version will include between 5-7 products from a random selection of different businesses in the neighbourhood. These products are subject to availability and may change week-to-week. A portion of profits and all tips made at checkout will be allocated to five different charities, one in each neighbourhood. Click on the links below to learn more about each edition of the Bag of Toronto. Every bag is $60, tax included. Each one includes products from local businesses that total $55 in retail value. The remaining $5 is used to cover delivery, web-hosting, and a donation to a local charity in each neighbourhood. Any tips made during purchase will also be donated to each charity. There’s only a limited number of bags available each week
The Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) is showing the public that downtown is #OpenwithCare by providing businesses with PPE and materials to demonstrate their commitment to safety.
The #OpenwithCare toolkit includes:
- Disposable masks that can be given to customers free-of-charge
- Refillable hand sanitizer
- Door decals outlining provincial health guidelines
Downtown businesses can also take the #OpenwithCare pledge online. Those who take the pledge will be listed on Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s website and featured on social media. The campaign is designed to show customers that businesses are making health and safety a top priority. The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hopes #OpenwithCare will encourage Winnipeggers to support local by shopping, eating and exploring downtown safely.
Love Yarmouth – A Nova Scotia Buy Local Campaign
Love Yarmouth is about supporting neighbours, celebrating our community, and recognizing the people behind the businesses that make Yarmouth a vibrant place to live. This initiative calls on businesses, organizations, governments and citizens to show our love for Yarmouth and give the gift of local this holiday season.
Residents are encouraged to Take the “Love Yarmouth” Holiday pledge! After doing so, email is sent with exclusive local offers, and ideas on how to show love for Yarmouth.
This holiday season, I pledge to “give the gift of local” by shopping locally, and supporting local businesses within the Yarmouth area. I make this pledge since I know that our local economy depends on all of us coming together to support it. I also pledge to encourage others to do the same, so that we can all collectively show that we Love Yarmouth!
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.
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.
Winnipeg Chamber provides a guideline on how to support local small businesses virtually.
The Ontario government is proposing to give municipalities the flexibility to target property tax relief to small businesses.
The province is also considering matching these reductions, which would provide small businesses with as much as $385 million in municipal and provincial property tax relief. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
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
Social Enterprise UK: Choose Communities, Buy Social campaign
Social enterprises are so important – reducing inequalities, keeping wealth in their communities and empowering the people they support. Polling has shown that people want to support a different and better way of doing business – 76% said they’d prefer to buy products from businesses which have a positive impact on the wider community and 77% stated that they’d like to see more businesses set up which use their profits and businesses operations to have a positive impact on the community. With the social investment market having grown and developed extensively since its creation, there’s now more opportunity for newly set up social enterprises to find investment that is relevant to them, be that start-up capital, blended finance or working capital so that they can grow their products and services enabling more consumers to #buysocial
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.
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!
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
This initiative encourages local business recovery and support. In addition, it has set aside August 28-30 for a national buy local weekend and will provide grants of up to $5K for businesses
- Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, and latex gloves
- Renovating physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines
- Developing or improving e-commerce capabilities for your business
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.