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Why Revitalizing Spruce Grove’s City Centre is Important

A community’s city centre is the face it presents to the world. Its condition speaks volumes about the health of the local economy, whether or not local residents and property owners reinvest in themselves, and even the history of the town’s development. A vibrant city centre—or the lack of one—affects the community’s ability to attract and retain residents, businesses and institutions, jobs, and investment that enable a city to endure and thrive.

How the Board of Directors City Centre Business Association Evolved

Understanding the importance of a vibrant city centre a revitalization initiative was brought forward to City Council by businesses and landlords located in the city centre area. In response, the City of Spruce Grove commissioned a consulting firm to conduct a study that would outline potential next steps to revitalizing the City Centre/Downtown area. The study included information obtained from interviews with various stakeholders, case studies and a collection of best practices.

During the development of the study, it became clear that prior attempts to revitalize city centre were unsuccessful not because of lack of will but more so lack of organizational structure and realization that revitalizing a city centre does not happen overnight, it requires collective consultation, much support and resources and a strong strategic plan. As a result, the study strongly supported creating a Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ). On June 17, 2015, the Interim Spruce Grove City Centre Committee, presented the recommendation to City Council. Council approved funding support and an official Board of Directors City Centre Business Association was formed.

2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President

Victor Moroz
Royal LePage

Vice-President

Sharon Yeast
Gifts and Gadgets

Treasurer

Dr. Ronald Haines
Evergreen Family Dentistry

Secretary

Mandy Kenworthy
Jack’s Drive-In

Director

Glen Pitt
TeckEra Consulting

City Council Appointee

Alderman Searle Turton

Director

Robin Grayston
Romantic Notions

Director

Ken Turlock
Perks Coffee House

Director

Angela Cubos
Back on Track Chiropractic

Director

Laura Dear
Main Street Law LLP

Director

Joseph Boros
Elation

Chamber of Commerce Liaison

Chantal McKenzie
That Yoga Place

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Where to from here

The Board of Director’s main role is to gauge stakeholder interest and feedback on revitalization within a defined geographic area that represents city centre. With assistance from the City, the Board will develop an implementation strategy addressing the rationale for forming a Business Improvement Area (BIA) including potential benefits for the area and objectives for future improvements. Although support of 25% of business members within the defined area was required to form the BIA, over 50% agreed to creating a BIA, at which time a recommendation was taken to City Council to approve establishment of the BIA. The main objectives of the BIA will include promoting the city centre and the businesses, encouraging a pedestrian friendly environment, creating a positive brand, and enhancing the attractiveness of the streetscape. Promotional activities may include special events and ongoing advertising programs which aim to keep the City Centre foremost in the public’s mind as an attractive, pleasant place to shop, to be entertained, to work and to live.

The role of a BIA

A BIA is a Business Improvement Area. In June 1983, the Province of Alberta passed legislation that allows municipalities to establish Business Improvement Areas.

A BIA is a non-profit association of business owners that join together to promote and improve the economic vitality of their business district. A BIA can be used to enhance streetscape improvements, carry out joint promotions and festivals, and promote economic development initiatives.

A BIA organization receives funding through a special levy that is added to each business tax assessment.

Worldwide there are approximately 1,200 business improvement areas with approximately 348 of them in Canada. There are currently 33 Business Improvement Areas in Alberta.

What are the benefits of a BIA?

A Business Improvement Area:

  • Ensures ongoing cooperation among the members of the business community.
  • Allows businesses to collectively solve problems.
  • Improves lines of communication between the business community, municipal staff and City Council.
  • Cost savings to the business members through promotional activities and integration of capital funding.
  • A dedicated source of revenue for provision of services and physical improvements.
  • Collectively promotes a welcoming, family-friendly City Centre offering year round activity, festivals, events, shopping, dining and inviting green, open and public spaces with revitalized buildings and enhanced storefronts in a walkable environment.