Economic Development News
Partner Profile: Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Association (DBIA)
Here at the City of Brockville’s Economic Development Department we know that we can’t do everything alone. We are lucky to work closely with a number of organizations who all contribute to the economic viability of our city and who work hard to ensure that Brockville is a great place to live and work. It is critical that we invest in strengthening bonds with our local partners so that we are all working towards the same goals, streamlining processes, reducing duplication and ultimately getting more done to benefit the community and our local businesses.
First up is the Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Association, commonly referred to as the DBIA, or simply Downtown Brockville (other Partner Profiles include the Leeds & Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre and Brockville & 1000 Islands Toursim). We asked them to share with us a few of the projects and initiatives that they are working on that will give everyone a better sense of the scope of their work:
We are the leaders of 8 events in the downtown: Spring Into Flavour, Street Eats May Sidewalk Sale, Street Fest August Sidewalk Sale, Halloween Downtown (new in 2018!), Black Friday, the Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony, Shop Local Week and Breakfast with Santa. These are events that we are solely responsible for. For other events downtown we give guidance, promotion, and sponsorship.
We are the proud owners of the Downtown Brockville Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We create content, strategy plans, and posts, and execute all the marketing and paid advertising you see through those pages. We also create and distribute the downtown map, shopping guide, and restaurant guide.
We can’t know the needs of an entire community, that’s no secret. This is why we spend a large portion of our time speaking with our businesses, local community organizations, and Brockvillians. We are overseen by a Board of Directors, comprised of 9 downtown business representatives. We oversee 5 committees made up of our downtown business owners as well. Our office has an open door policy and people are free to stop by anytime. Email, Facebook message, Instagram message, tweet us, call or walk in, we’re all ears.
Flowers, benches, bike racks, lighting… unlike other BIA’s we are the ones steering these projects to help beautify downtown. We organize and execute Communities in Bloom which isn’t just focused on downtown but helps our city’s tourism and public image as a whole. Last year in our first year of competition we were awarded 4/5 “blooms”, a feat that is practically unheard of. This year, we’re going for all 5.
When an issue arises that affects the downtown, we do what we can to inform our membership, listen to their concerns, and advocate for them. In 2017, we successfully advocated to have a new twin-pad arena located in the south-end neighbouring our catchment area, and for a change to the vacant unit rebate to encourage less vacancies.
Our efforts help to keep downtown vibrant and a lucrative place to do business. We work on connecting prospective business owners with the right property for them, and aim to have a complementary and diverse mix of businesses. Our objective is to help each business individually by providing welcome packages, supporting them through funding and signage acquisition, and providing them with any resources needed to thrive and grow.
The fact of the matter is, the above just scratches the surface, and while we walk in everyday with a game plan, what actually occurs is usually very different. We’re a constantly changing organization with the goal to make Downtown Brockville Alive and Vibrant.
Who are “we”?
The DBIA staff is made up of 2 team members: the Executive Director, Hillary Geneau, and the Events and Communications Coordinator, Haley Veronyak. We are governed by a board of 9 business representatives and we are funded by our downtown community. Our catchment area includes King Street from Gilmour Street to Orchard Street, and from James Street down to the waterfront.
Connect with us on social media:
Want to get more involved in something noted above? Email us: Info@downtownbrockville.com
Click here to contact the Economic Development Office at the City of Brockville
Engage with the local business community online: