Student-designed test project aims to improve safety and vibrancy downtown

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYYC (Calgary) | Learning and education | Local businesses | Main Street

The City of Calgary, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Downtown Association, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and Bow Valley College have been working on the 9 Block program, a series of safety initiatives to improve vibrancy and safety in the nine blocks that surround City Hall. The program works collaboratively with neighbours and community partners to improve the area.

The centrepiece of these improvements is the installation of a canopy and lighting at the bus stop in front of the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) downtown campus. Mauricio Soto-Rubio, the research lead, and students from SAPL designed and fabricated the installation to improve the safety and vibrancy issues in their neighbourhood.

A shop local campaign in Edmonton encourages locals to #adoptashopYEG

Local businesses | Main Street

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.

Arts and Culture | Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership

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

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Recovery | Street activation

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

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS ECONOMIC RECOVERY STRATEGY

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Recovery

To generate such an economic recovery strategy, Heartland Forward (HF) has undertaken an extensive and detailed analysis of the NWA region’s strengths, challenges and opportunities. Our team has arrayed and assessed comprehensive data on its economy and industries, its small businesses and startup ecosystem, talent base, changing demographic composition and quality of place that stems from its arts, culture and recreation efforts and initiatives to develop a robust strategy for post-COVID-19 recovery.

By Ross DeVol, Richard Florida, Joel Kotkin and Dave Shideler

Edmonton’s Downtown Recovery Task Force launches a Downtown Clean-up Event.

Local businesses | Main Street | Re-opening

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.

Montreal setting aside $400,000 for urban design and cultural activities in a bid to lure visitors downtown

Arts and Culture | Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Recovery | Street activation | physical distancing

Measures include:

  • Several public spaces will be redesigned in keeping with health guidelines, with 1,000 low-cost parking spaces made available at Complexe Desjardins and Palais des congrès to entice drivers.
  • Seven large terrasses and public squares will be set up at locations such as Jardins du Centre St-Jax, Place d’Youville and the corner of St-Laurent and René-Lévesque Blvds.
  • Pop-up performances — from live music to circus acts and mobile cabaret — will take place on weekends in various locations from Thursday through Oct. 15. More than 150 artists will be involved in giving roughly 200 surprise performances.
  • Discounts on various attractions, hotels and restaurants will be offered via the mtl.org website.

Buy Local Ottawa: Links to support Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses as the local economy reopens 

Food | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Policy leadership | Re-opening

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.

  1. #MyOttawa Pass is Ottawa’s very own local savings passport, complete with an impressive collection of discounts and offers from businesses across the city.
  2. Shop Ottawa is an online directory of local businesses, products and services.
  3. Local Eats Ottawa offers a compiled list of Ottawa restaurants offering food delivery or pickup.
  4. SavourOttawa.ca is a one-stop site on how to buy locally produced food and beverages in the Ottawa region.
  5. Together-Apart.ca is a resource for the residents of this city to find local spots to order from and support.
  6. Edible Ottawa to ensure that local food communities remain strong.
  7. 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.
  8. And links to local BIAs that offer detailed information on local business offerings

 

Victoria’s Economic Recovery Strategy “Victoria 3.0” – Recovery Reinvention Resilience – 2020-2041

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

Victoria 3.0 has three main goals. The first and immediate focus is on supporting businesses to adapt to a new normal and become more resilient in light of experiences and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has shown us how precarious our small businesses and our local economy are.  The South Island Prosperity Partnership has created a Rising Economy Taskforce with 13 subcommittees that cover all aspects of our regional economy. Victoria 3.0 is meant to be complementary to and nestle within this important regional work.

Montréal is creating a pool of Montreal designers and architects to design and implement temporary urban development projects for commercial streets.

Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Street activation | physical distancing

Selecting a group of qualified and competent bidders will thus allow the city to be more agile in awarding professional service contracts by mutual agreement. In this way, boroughs and city departments as well as the Sociétés de développement commercial will be able to call on pre-qualified teams to design and implement measures that address their issues, such as modified routes and user mobility, safe boarding and disembarking of public transit users, waiting lines for businesses, outdoor sales and consumption areas, functional and technical pickup and delivery spaces, rest areas and street furniture (e.g., washrooms, benches, no-contact garbage receptacles). Given the experimental nature of the temporary development projects both currently underway and to come, it is important to make good use of a range or high-performance solutions that can be deployed throughout the city

Restarting Restaurants, Food Services & Retail webinars for Downtown Victoria businesses

Food | General: Sector resources | Main Street | Public health | Re-opening

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

New crowdfunding platform to save small business in Ottawa

Local businesses

A pilot project in Ottawa hopes to boost their chances with community crowdfunding, which has emerged as a vital tool for the social impact sector. Could it provide a model for Main Streets across Canada?

Downtown Kamloops’ BIA COVID19 web & social media platform

Local businesses
Three focus areas: DOWNTOWN TO GO, a #Supportlocal campaign; BUSINESS is OPEN, information on Downtown Kamloops Businesses that are closed (temporarily), offering take-out, pick-up, online stores and other business models that will help the community stay #ykastrong; COMMUNITY & INNOVATION showcasing how Downtown Kamloops businesses are pivoting; and RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

Artists Create Murals on Closed and Boarded up Shops across Main Streets in Vancouver

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

Vancouver artists are working together during the COVID-19 pandemic to create some beauty through public murals. Much of the city’s busiest areas have turned into ghost towns and storefronts are being boarded up. But the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) is commissioning artists to transform those fronts with temporary works of art.

Halifax mainstreet BIA creates online platform for shops and services

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

The Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association launched an online version of the street’s shops and services at www.quinpool.shop. The site includes links to many Quinpool shops, services and restaurants that have transitioned their businesses into online sales, deliveries and arranged pickup.

A platform for supporting local bars and restaurants through the purchase of gift cards

Food | Local businesses

Eatlater helps people to find restaurants, bars, wineries by location across Canada, and support them through thepurchase gift cards.

City of Cornwall platform to purchase gift certificates for downtown businesses

Local businesses

The Campaign to Save Main Street is a website to allow customers to purchase gift certificates for local small businesses in Cornwall, Akwesasne, and SD&G Counties.

An online platform to help support local business during COVID-19

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

Local businesses can register for distantly.ca and community can donate funds to support specific businesses. The platform doesn’t charge a platform fee and funds are sent within 48 hours to local businesses.

Downtown Medicine Hat Development Incentive Program

Local businesses | Policy leadership

The Incentive Program offers downtown property owners a series of incentives to assist them to redevelop or initiate new developments in the city center and includes five options for financial assistance. Architectural and Visual Enhancement, Commercial Development, Live-Work Residential Development, and Multi-Family Development.

Victoria COVID-19 Business Resources

Local businesses | Policy leadership

This website provides links and information related to small business support. It notes that as a municipality, the City “is not permitted to grant direct assistance to businesses, however, Council has directed staff to examine all of the City’s fiscal, legislative and legal powers to support businesses and jobs to sustain the local economy during the pandemic”.

Victoria-based group of tech and marketing professionals offering free assistance to local small businesses, restaurants, and bars

Income support | Local businesses

Platform for connnecting those businesses that need support with organizations offering support.

Tiny Victoria Small Business Relief Fund

Fundraising and volunteering | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | Local businesses

Google form to apply for support for small 0% non-recourse loans to Victoria-based small businesses.

Downtown Kamloops webpage collects community & City COVID initiatives that support a vibrant and recovering downtown

Local businesses | Policy leadership
The colourful website communicates effectively tools and approaches on how community can help and how businesses can recover

City of Duncan moves forward with downtown projects during COVID-19 shut down

Local businesses | Policy leadership

To minimize disruption to businesses when many might reopen later, construction–including sidewalk widening and watermain replacement– is being fastracked to start now.

Supporting Toronto’s Queen Street West local businesses through purchase of “goody bags”

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

Locals for Local TO is an initiatives to support Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood. People can buy “goody bags” for between $80 to $100 (plus delivery). Goody bags include items from local shops like fresh veggies, cookies, coffee and more, and are available for delivery or pick up. A portion of proceeds will go to food banks.

 

Webinar Recording: Business Continuity and Crisis Recovery

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ offered a free webinar on Business Continuity and Crisis Recovery on March 30, 2020.

COVID 19 & Main Street: Supporting Local Safely (Webinar)

General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Local businesses | Policy leadership

Webinar recording. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Main Street programs have been moving rapidly to offer support to local businesses and the community as a whole. This webinar provides updates from the National Federation of Independent Businesses on the impact to the business community and current resources and guidance, followed by a panel discussion of local program directors and the work their doing to #SupportLocalSafely.

“Shop in the Heart” is a COVID-19 response platform organized by the Downtown Edmonton BIA

Arts and Culture | Food | General: Online communities and networks

Site organized by the Edmonton Downtown Business Association showcasing downtown restaurants, retailers and other businesses who have found a way to deliver their goods and services to the people of Edmonton. Includes those businesses offering online classes or streamed services, gift cards, virtual appointments, equipment rental, delivery or curbside pickups and food specials such as custom meal boxes. Some businesses are offering deep discounts and specials during this time, or free items, donations & specials to first responders and hospital workers.

Local Calgary businesses come together to create platform for purchasing gift cards from restaurants during COVID-19

Food | Local businesses

Eat Later allows residents to support local bars and restaurants in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto & GTA, and Vancouver.

Hamilton-based Hometown Hub offers direct link to local businesses offering online services through delivery, e-commerce and gift cards

Local businesses

Hometown Hub is a platform to get brick and mortar businesses up and running within days and continue sales in a strictly digital economy. This initiative was put together in a matter of days and involves a partnership between the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Rising and EatShopPlay.

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