We remain as committed as ever to delivering on programs that improve cleanliness and sanitation across the district. Helping to keep our streets clean and safe, and buildings graffiti-free is part of our core services to the Strathcona community. In the past year this has become more challenging, as the district continues to experience rising rates of graffiti. Advocating for more resources and new solutions was an important part of our work on these issues.
We partner with Coast Mental Health, United We Can, and Mission Possible Maintenance to provide street cleaning services in the Strathcona BIA district. These impactful partnerships create inclusive job opportunities for local people in our community. Between all program partners, team members have picked up over 1000+ bags of litter and 2960 needles across the entire district in the last year, working over 2411 hours or an average of 46 hours per week. Our teams are here to keep the area clean and support members each day.
Clearly, street litter is a big problem. Through advocacy efforts by the BIA’s, City Council approved additional funding for street cleaning programming city-wide, and allocated $2.1 million in funding for the 2021 Street Cleaning Grant Program. For the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona neighbourhoods this has resulted in an additional 18 micro-cleaning shifts per week. This allowed us to shift more resources towards specific areas of the district as well as our Private Property Debris Pick Up program. We helped complete 70 private property debris pick-ups this last year and make daily reports to VanConnect for debris in lanes and on public property, saving members over $10,000 in removal fees, plus their valuable time.
From Strathcona Pilot to City Service
A big point of pride for us this year was supporting the launch of the social enterprise, The Crap Trapper. Initiators Mark and Elwood saw a need in the community and stepped up to provide a valuable bio-waste pick-up service with support from the Strathcona BIA. Before this, no dedicated service existed for human and animal waste pick-up and removal, often leaving businesses on the hook to deal with this tough task on their own. The Strathcona BIA was a key player in identifying this need and called attention to this from the City. Since then, the program has not only expanded, but is now a City-provided and funded service that members can access through 3-1-1. Mark and Elwood joined forces with Mission Possible to continue to deliver the service, and Strathcona is benefitting from patrols, removals, and on-call service. While advocacy for more public washrooms continues, this has been a big win in improving sanitation across the district in 2021.
Members have access to a comprehensive graffiti removal program through our contract with Goodbye Graffiti Vancouver (a Strathcona business!). In the last few years, the overall size of a graffiti tag within the SBIA district has increased by 70%. The number of calls Goodbye Graffiti receives from the SBIA and members for graffiti removal has doubled in the past 1.5 years. Through our program, we have removed 7,386 graffiti tags in the district over the last year. SBIA members receive unlimited removals of tags 12 feet and under. The program also helped to remove 4,595 square feet of high level tags, a new service being offered through the program. It takes Goodbye Graffiti around 30 minutes to remove a tag the size of a small car from a painted surface. For porous surfaces, a graffiti tag the size of a small car takes around 45 min to remove. All labour, supply, and removal costs are covered within the scope of the program. These time and money savings add up for our members! This program also helps prevent City bylaw infractions and potential fees for our property owners and businesses.
In partnership with other BIA districts across Vancouver we successfully advocated for and secured more funding to handle this challenging issue. We received $35,000, one of the highest amounts from the City of Vancouver, for additional graffiti removal services. This funding will enhance our ability to target graffitti and leverage your levy contributions even further. As always, we also continue to think outside the box on solutions for the rise in graffiti tagging, with initiatives like meaningful mural art with respected local artists, working with the VPD to allocate more preventative resources, and connecting with other community partners to raise the impacts that graffiti has on our members, especially small businesses.
Members can call 604-789-4143, seven days a week from 8am-8pm to reach our safety patrol team who dedicated 6,126 hours to keeping members, customers, and the community safe over the past year. Everyday our compassionate patrol team is on the ground in the district, responding quickly to member needs and connecting with community members. The safety team is our most used program and we are consistently working towards ensuring our approach to community safety is responsible, valued, and holistic. With this in mind, we launched our first annual safety survey this year to better understand how Strathcona BIA members feel about safety in the neighbourhood. Advocacy, Environmental Safety, and Patrols emerged as the priority areas for investment. We received 64 completed surveys, representing 113 businesses and properties across Strathcona. We’re excited to build on this feedback and future engagement to develop a new and strong community safety model for the Strathcona BIA. Stay tuned for updates!
Advocacy is an enormous part of our work in all of these areas. For more on our advocacy efforts and impacts read our advocacy report.
About the Strathcona Business Improvement Association
The Strathcona Business Improvement Association (SBIA) is a not-for-profit society that plays an important role in business development, marketing, safety, and street enhancement in Vancouver’s historic Strathcona district through innovative programs, sustainability, advocacy, and strong partnerships. We view our work through a community economic development lens, aiming to innovate, explore, and expand beyond the work of a BIA, to support businesses to thrive in our commercial district, and improve the community for all.
The SBIA represents over 840 business and commercial property owners in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and Strathcona neighbourhoods. Spanning 44 city square blocks, the SBIA designated area is roughly bound by Gore Avenue, Clark Drive, Railway Street, and Venables Street. The SBIA is a unique BIA in that over 60% of our members are industrial. Our vision is for Strathcona members to thrive in a mixed-use, inclusive, resilient and prosperous local economy. It is our mission to promote a strong local economy through advocacy, cultivating relationships, supporting business participation in the community, delivering innovative programs and fostering community leaders.
Strathcona is a place for everyone who does things differently. It’s a place that celebrates humanity, expanded worldviews, and challenging preconceived notions. We encourage the people and places that make up our community to maintain their distinct character, while understanding and appreciating what makes each other unique. We believe that everyone has a place in Strathcona, especially those who are unafraid to go against the norm. We embrace and advocate for all who establish their lives, identities and livelihoods here.
The Strathcona Business Association is seeking a new Executive Director to lead the organization into a new vision and period of recovery, resilience, and renewal.
The Executive Director will provide leadership and direction toward the achievement of the society’s mission and objectives. Acting as a liaison among members, the board of directors, staff, government, and other community partners, the Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the delivery and implementation of all programs and services, annual budget development, oversight of daily operations, BIA renewal strategy, and takes the lead in member-serving advocacy, community, and government relations.
The Executive Director’s activities include supporting the continuous improvement of Strathcona’s commercial district as a safe and thriving place to work, live, shop, and access entertainment for business owners, property owners, and the public at large.
Responsibilities of the Role
Leadership & Strategy
As the Strathcona BIA’s Executive Director, you will be expected to lead the development of multi-year strategic plans for the Board’s approval based on the needs of the members and the educated projections of the future business and financial requirements of the Association. The organization is currently in Year 3 of a 5 Year Strategic Plan, and Year 5 of a 7 Year Renewal Period with the City of Vancouver. You are responsible for leading the development and ensuring the effective implementation of the strategic plan within the restraints of the approved budget under a fixed 7-year funding cap. You will oversee the development of policies and programs that meet the interests of members and the public at large. You will be continually challenged to develop and modify programs which address the issues and concerns of a diverse business and property owner membership.
Advocacy & Relationship Management
As the Executive Director, you will be the principal spokesperson for the Association to the media, stakeholders, government partners, and on behalf of members on all matters relative to the ongoing activities and programs of the SBIA. You will work closely with and take policy direction from the Board of Directors and you will be effective at representing the interests of the SBIA and its members, with credibility, knowledge and influence.
Governance & Operations
As Executive Director you will provide direction and coaching to your managers as part of your operational oversight including personnel decisions, tactical implementation of policies, programs and project initiatives, and contractual commitments within the approved budget constraints.
You are driven, forward-thinking, and dedicated to developing and advancing an innovative suite of programs and advocacy. You thrive as a leader in a busy and challenging but rewarding environment. You understand how businesses work, know how to run a good meeting, give a great media interview, and form relationships with people from all walks of life.
You have a passion for sustainable community economic development, a knack for building bridges across people and communities that don’t always see eye to eye, and you have your finger on the pulse of Vancouver.
Key Qualifications & Skills
The right person for this role will embody the dynamic, creative leadership qualities we’re looking for, share in the SBIA’s values and vision, have at least 5 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector in an executive or senior role, have a completed university degree and/or equivalent career & life experience, and understands fiduciary responsibility and comfortable working through financial strategy.
Salary is $90,000 to $110,000 and is reflective of the scope of the position, market awareness, and will be subject to assessing each candidate on an individual basis. In addition, the SBIA offers an attractive benefits package.
Who Should Apply
The Strathcona Business Improvement Association values diversity, and encourages applicants of all gender identities or expressions, sexual orientation, colour, race, age, ability, religion, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, or family/marital status. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.
How to Apply
Please email your resume, cover letter, and total remuneration expectations to:
People. Solutions. Culture. Results.
Elevate Search Group collaborates and partners with companies to identify, recruit, and retain top-tiered professionals within all levels of leadership and non-leadership careers within business development, sales, marketing, operations, human resource, and supply chain management. Our client profiles range from local, regional, national, and global organizations.
We thank all applicants who are interested in our current posting as Executive Director, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
The deadline to apply is July 23rd, 2021.
This year our Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday September 23rd from 3pm to 4:30pm. Details on how to register, vote, and participate at this year’s AGM will be mailed out to all members in late August. We currently anticipate an online meeting. We look forward to seeing our members at the AGM!
Call for Director Nominations
The Strathcona BIA Board of Directors actively works to build a thriving, mixed-use and resilient local economy here in Strathcona. 2021 marks the third year of a five year strategic plan for the organization and the Board of Directors is currently focused on balancing the pressing needs of its members through challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Who we’re looking for
We are currently seeking business members with particular experience and skills in governance and marketing. Members with a diversity of experience and interests in areas like placemaking, local economic development, community safety, HR, and a passion for Strathcona, are also encouraged to apply.
How we work
The Board can have a maximum of 12 directors and all directors must meet the needs and expectations of the role and responsibilities as outlined in the Election Guidelines. There are seven director seats up for election with four incumbent directors running for a new term.
The length of a term for an SBIA Board Director is two years. Our meetings take place monthly for one and half hours over lunch and are currently hosted on Zoom. Board Members can be property owners, business tenants, or an authorized representative of an SBIA member property or business. Property owners must make up the majority of the Board per SBIA bylaws.
How to apply
Interested members can download the SBIA Candidate Nomination & Election Guidelines Package here or call the SBIA office to request a paper package for mail out. All nomination packages must be complete and received either by email or dropped off in person at the SBIA office, no later than noon on July 15, 2021. All candidates are subject to the Election guidelines (as laid out in your nominations package). Candidates are also required to meet with a member of the Elections Committee over Zoom to be eligible for election.
SBIA office: 1220 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1S6
Hours: 9:30AM – 4:30PM Monday to Friday
A New Chapter.
This summer, the Strathcona Business Improvement Association will say goodbye to our Executive Director, Theodora Lamb. On behalf of the Strathcona BIA Board of Directors and staff, we want to express our thanks, gratitude, and appreciation for all of Theo’s hard work these past three years. We hope our members will join us in wishing her warmth and well wishes as she embarks on a new professional chapter!
Under Theo’s leadership over the last three years, the SBIA has enjoyed significant progress and innovation in advocacy, placemaking, and community development on behalf of our 840+ members.
Some of her contributions include:
Advocacy to municipal staff and elected leaders on issues including commercial taxation, vacant storefront activation and policy, municipal policing, permitting, transportation and mobility, homeless encampments, rising graffiti rates, industrial land protection, and COVID-19 policy relief measures
Developing a new district commercial brand through community consultation which resulted in a new Strathcona placebrand identity
Developing a new partnership between the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Police Department, and other social service organizations to address issues of public drinking and its impact on community-serving retail
Navigating COVID-19’s impacts on members through targeted, rapid communications, webinar events, matching grants, a safety patrol partnership with the Gastown and Hastings North BIAs, and participation in the COVID Community Response Network
Launching a district-wide engagement campaign on safety and security across the district, capturing member priorities and preferred economic trade-offs
Launching Crap Trapper, a social enterprise pilot project designed to address issues of human waste clean-up
Expanding the SBIA sponsorship portfolio to build better relations with equity-seeking and social serving organizations based in Strathcona including the Eastside Culture Crawl, Indigenous Wellness Fair, and the WISH Drop-in Centre serving sex workers in the DTES
Identifying and activating vacant storefront space in Vancouver society buildings as part of the SBIA and City of Vancouver partner-funded Chinese Benevolent Society Buildings and Community Serving Retail Study
- Creating the Strathcona Tax Empowerment Program (STEP) designed to help members navigate the property assessment appeal process and lighten the tax burden on business and commercial properties
Strathcona business leaders remain among the most creative, innovative, and resilient people I’ve ever had the honour of working alongside” reflects Theo. “I know the Strathcona BIA will continue to be led by strong and effective governors and that member needs remain in the capable hands of SBIA managers Sam Hamilton and Johanna Lauyanto.
Theo is moving on to new leadership opportunities with a well-recognized non-profit organization serving the Lower Mainland region.
“It has been a privilege to work with Theo and we are saddened to be losing her as our ED, but we know she’s moving on to accomplish great things in service to community” says Emma Carscadden, President of the Strathcona BIA.
In the meantime, the work to secure our next Executive Director is well underway and the Strathcona BIA Board of Directors looks forward to sharing more news regarding this soon.
Our vision is for Strtathcona members to thrive in a mixed-use, inclusive, resilient and prosperous local economy. Our mission is to promote a strong local economy through advocacy, cultivating relationships, supporting business participation in the community, delivering innovative programs, and fostering community leaders. As our members continue to run their businesses, oversee their properties, and navigate the challenges that COVID-19 continues to pose, the Strathcona BIA is here to support you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com or phone us at 604-258-2727.
We all have a role to play.
We all understand the importance of having a clean and safe community with proper resources and programming to help keep our neighborhoods accessible, beautiful, and thriving. Taking action to tackle our climate emergency and lower our carbon footprint is an essential part of keeping our communities thriving. From an organizational level to an individual level, we all have a role to play in creating a sustainable and flourishing planet.
At the Strathcona BIA, Environmental Sustainability is one of our six core values. It’s a lens that informs our programming and placemaking work, including things like community waste management, transportation advocacy, or implementing granting programs for our members that promote sustainable choices. As individuals, adapting small things in our daily routines like composting or opting to ride our bikes to work instead of driving are the little things that add up to a whole lot if everyone gets involved.
Doing our part to change some of our less eco-friendly habits not only contributes to a more sustainable planet but can actually help to restore our Mother Earth. Yes, we said restore the earth!
It seems like a huge job, we know, but with 7.5 billion people sharing this planet and all making the extra effort, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched when you really think about it. Combining actions of individuals and bigger systems changes, together we can #RestoreOurEarth to build a better future.
For Earth Week we want to highlight some of the ways Strathcona contributes to a sustainable community. We also want to offer resources on what more you can do to help restore the earth.
For more information on how you can help be apart of the change visit earthday.org
Five Ways Strathcona Contributes to a More Sustainable Community
Metal Recycling Depot
Reducing your carbon footprint can be as simple as discarding your old items the right way. Strathcona is home to North Star Metal Recycling, a company that will buy, sell and recycle scrap metal and other materials like batteries, wire, and cables. Located just off Powell Street near Clark Drive, North Star Recycling will take unwanted items ranging from appliances and household scraps to vehicle rims, motors and industrial metal. They will then repurpose the materials saving them from a potential lifetime in a landfill.
Did you know that producing steel from recycled materials compared with virgin material saves 75% of the energy needed? We also learned from North Star that the 36 billion aluminum cans landfilled last year had a scrap value of more than $600 million. Someday, we’ll be mining our landfills for the resources we’ve buried.
For more information (and cool facts about metal recycling!) visit: northstarmetalrecycling.com
What does a custom awards producer have to do with sustainable energy? In our neighbourhood, a lot.
Eclipse Awards is a business located in the heart of Strathcona that makes eco-friendly awards, plaques and trophies that help people feel recognized, appreciated, and celebrated. They have also dedicated their East Vancouver rooftop to solar panels that power their business. If that’s not incredible enough, all of the excess energy the business doesn’t use goes into the city’s power grid.
For more information visit: eclipseawards.com
Owner, Toby Barazzuol, has not only established sustainability initiatives at his business, but helped pioneer sustainability programs within the Strathcona community as well. During his time as Strathcona BIA Board Chair, Toby helped establish a sustainability committee that looked at ways we could help businesses reduce their energy consumption, divert waste from landfill, and implement greening initiatives in the community. One of our long-standing programs that came from this work is Recycle in Strathcona, a community waste management program.
Community Waste Management
Recycle In Strathcona is a comprehensive and cost-effective recycling service provided to SBIA members by Recycling Alternative and Shift Delivery. The program offers waste management services at exclusive rates for Strathcona BIA members. If your workplace only produces a small amount of waste, a zero-emissions trike pick-up option through Shift Delivery is available.
Other benefits include education and support for your staff, no long-term contracts, and flexible bin sizes and collection frequency to fit your needs. The more members that join this community recycling program, the more optimized the pick-up routes can be, lowering carbon emissions and the amount of truck traffic we see in our lanes and streets.
For more information visit: strathconabia.com/member-programs/recycle-in-strathcona/
The Strathcona Community Garden is located near Hawks and Prior Street and is a volunteer-managed space. The garden sits on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and is a space that is operated by the Strathcona Community Gardeners Society, a non-profit and leader in community-run ecological stewardship. The garden provides the neighbourhood’s residents an opportunity to grow their own plots of food, herbs, and flowers locally. The space provides rare inner-city habitat for wildlife. With over 200 individual plots, a greenhouse, a bee shed for bee-keeping, orchard, and wildlife habitat area, the space is a green oasis in the city.
For more information visit: strathconagardens.ca
We know that a big part of tackling the climate crisis is changing how we move around the city and our communities. Strathcona is an eclectic mix of industrial spaces, hidden retail gems, and community spaces in the heart of East Vancouver, so it’s no wonder that a focus on accessibility is kind of our thing.
Walking, biking, or taking transit, are all great modes of choice for getting around in our well-connected community. Nine bus routes run through Strathcona, and it is considered a “walker’s paradise” with a walking score of 95. Strathcona also has some incredible bike paths throughout the district that will smoothly lead you to the rest of the city.
Resources and Opportunities
Check out some of these links to learn more about how you can make an impact and contribute to a sustainable community.
- Get inspired around all the ways you can take action this week and beyond at earthday.org. There will be plenty of live-streamed virtual events with a focus on this year’s Earth Day theme: Restore the Earth.
- On a local level, check out the City of Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, and learn how to get involved.
For Small Businesses
- Do you strive to create a positive impact in the world through business? Learn about how to measure your impact using impact assessment tools at an upcoming free B Corp 101 workshop by the BDC and Vancouver Economic Commission. Workshops dates are May 13 or June 10.
- Vancouver Economic Commission recently launched Project Greenlight, a program that connects enterprises with big challenges to innovators ready to build and pilot sustainable solutions. Learn more here.
For Industry Associations
- The Climate Change How-to Guide for Industry and Professional Associations is a great in-depth resource by the BC Council for International Cooperation with best practices for addressing climate change at the industry level.
A spotlight on our advocacy and partnership work.
Partnership is critical to successful advocacy on behalf of our business members. Some of these partnerships have recently been in the media spotlight. In this post you’ll find:
- Details on what we’re doing to address street disorder on the 700 & 800 blocks of East Hastings and what a new parklet on Princess Avenue has to do with it.
- How activating empty storefronts in Chinatown leads to big wins for Strathcona businesses.
- The lowdown on Oppenheimer Park and everything we know about its path to re-opening.
East Hastings Street Disorder
In Strathcona, the path to how we arrive at a healthy and safe commercial district is complex. In partnership with the City of Vancouver, Portland Hotel Society, VANDU, Vancouver Police and other stakeholders, we’ve been working towards a solution to help address public drinking in front of the Astoria Hotel on East Hastings and at adjacent bus stops. After almost nine months of conflict, difficult conversations, trial and error, meetings with city engineers, and hard advocacy work, a pilot project has emerged.
The full scope of the pilot project was captured by Dan Fumano, in his article last week and includes quotes from his interview with Strathcona BIA Executive Director Theodora Lamb. The article also dives into more detail about the harm-reduction model behind the parklet.
About the Pilot Project
The pilot project involves a city-sanctioned parklet on Princess Ave where folks who have been occupying the bus stops in front of the Astoria Hotel can go to drink safely and legally. A city-sanctioned parklet means there are social service supports on-hand, medical attention on site, and more attention from the City, the VPD, and the SBIA in ensuring that drinking activity is monitored, people are supported, and business concerns are addressed. What comes next will be efforts to move activity from the Hastings bus stops to the parklet (where the PHS-run Drinker’s Lounge has been operating for 10 years) and ensure businesses and property owners around the parklet are fully heard and supported. If that’s you, stay tuned for more from the SBIA and the City of Vancouver.
We’ve heard loud and clear that more consultation is required and that our members, time and again, end up having to support the solutions to Strathcona’s complex social challenges on their own.
While we believe that Strathcona businesses will play a big role in solutions, the SBIA is doing everything in its power to ensure the advocacy work and heavy lifting does not rest on your shoulders, but on ours.
Additional Safety Measures
Meanwhile, our safety patrol team will be increasing their checks of the parklet starting this week and up to four times a day, seven days a week. Regular meetings will be scheduled with the VPD regarding parklet activity. Additional street cleaning resources will be directed to the area and, for those members in and around the parklet and who desire it, regular communication will be set up.
The Parklet is an imperfect solution. But we believe this group of unlikely allies, who first came together to address the concerns of businesses, have the attention of the right decision makers and a vision for a safer community.
If you’re a business or property owner operating in and around 111 Princess Ave and you want to ensure we don’t miss you in our outreach, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the parklet impact listserv.
Activating Vacant Storefront Spaces
You may have heard about Kam Wai Dim Sum opening up in Chinatown a couple weeks ago. Their reopening is part of a pilot project that the Strathcona BIA sponsors called the Community-Serving Retail Project. This project was launched to address vacant space in Chinese Benevolent Society Buildings, of which about 50 or so remain spread out evenly across both Strathcona and Chinatown BIAs. The first successful pilot landed in Chinatown, and there are several future locations underway, including in Strathcona.
How This Initiative Works
This initiative is a partnership between the Strathcona BIA, Dunefield, and Youth Collaborative for Chinatown where the aim is to partner with Chinese Society Buildings and other non-profit buildings in Strathcona and Chinatown that have underused commercial space. The project team supports the non-profit building owners with property management challenges, building and space improvements, and assists them with finding reliable tenants including restaurants, eateries, retail, and production businesses. It’s a remarkable story of storefront activation that is helping create affordable space opportunities for community-serving retail businesses in both Strathcona and Chinatown.
The funding for this project comes from the City of Vancouver, specifically, the DTES Capital Grants program which awards funds annually to community projects just like this. As an organization, we’ve had tremendous success in applying for these funds. As project sponsor, the funds flow through, not from, the Strathcona BIA – a registered non-profit society – to the project team for the pilot locations.
Do you want to start or expand a community-serving business in Chinatown or Strathcona, and are in need of affordable space and other support? Does your society or not-for-profit have underused commercial space that could accommodate community-serving business? Get in touch with us at email@example.com to learn more about the program.
Oppenheimer Park Reopening
Both Oppenheimer and Strathcona Parks have had their fair share of newsworthy headlines over the last few years. The work to de-camp Strathcona Park and house the residents currently living in its homeless camp is happening right now.
If you’re wondering about Oppenheimer Park, when it will reopen, and what the plan is to ensure it remains the public green space it was always meant to be, you’re not alone. The Strathcona BIA reached out to Parks Board staff to get the low-down on what businesses in and around the park can expect in the coming weeks and months. According to Ian Stewart, Manager of Park Development with the Vancouver Parks Board, there is no firm reopening date set yet.
Stewart’s team is responsible for park development. They’ve been busy implementing a number of restoration improvements since the Park’s decampment last May. “We have embarked on a series of conversations with park users to determine how to ensure that a park reopening can be conducted safely, and best serve local residents who desire access to the park’s amenities” says Stewart.
The Strathcona BIA has requested a meeting with Stewart and his team to discuss how local business members will be consulted about the Park’s re-opening. As soon as we know more, we’ll be reaching out to members regarding that engagement.
If you’re a business or property owner operating in and around Oppenheimer Park and you want to be directly looped into the Park reopening news, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to an outreach list.
The Strathcona Business Improvement Association is looking for a Social Media Specialist to join our team.
Our ideal candidate is an expert copywriter, content creator, and social strategist who is excited to bring to life all that makes Strathcona vibrant and different from anywhere else in Vancouver.
The Strathcona BIA values diversity, and encourages applicants of all gender identities or expressions, sexual orientation, colour, race, age, ability, religion, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, or family/marital status.
This is a 15 hour per week remote work position for an ongoing long-term contract. Compensation details are included in the full job description. The deadline to apply is February 11, 2021.
We’re about to launch an engagement with our members about safety.
Here’s the background.
At our 2019 AGM, we set out to re-envision our safety model with the goal of co-creating a program that is adaptive to member needs and more responsive to the rising social, economic, and health issues in East Vancouver. The Strathcona BIA Board and Staff have been working towards this goal ever since, while also maintaining and improving our current safety program.
Advocacy to all levels of government, raising the business voice in the media, and building community partnerships are some of the avenues the Strathcona BIA actively pursues to help improve safety in our neighbourhood. In addition, the Strathcona Community Safety Program, our largest program, currently operates as an on-call patrol working 7 days a week from 8am-10pm. A day in the life of the team includes foot and vehicle patrols, working with the Strathcona Community Policing Centre, responding to member calls, data reporting, needle disposal, graffiti and debris reporting, connecting vulnerable community members to resources, meet and greets and more.
How did we get here?
The Strathcona BIA was founded on safety and security principles in service to the businesses, employees, and customers who come through the community every day. Safety and the perception of safety is still cited as a primary concern for SBIA members. To help address these concerns the Strathcona BIA created an ongoing security program. The program has evolved over the years from a traditional security program to a community-serving model. This evolution, in part, has been driven by changes in the legal landscape around what a private security company can and can’t do and the rights of citizens on private property adjacent to public property. Strathcona as a whole has a long history of political activism and a high concentration of social services addressing everything from drug use and addictions to mental health. Many of the social service organizations are members of the Strathcona BIA. Fostering relationships with local service providers, social enterprises, and institutional partners is one way to help build and develop long term solutions to many challenges that SBIA members and community members face.
How we plan to evolve our safety model
We’re ready to continue the evolution of our safety programming to have an even bigger impact on the safety and well-being of our community. Changing our safety model requires a hard look at the data. It requires research and a review of best practices. It requires partnership. And, most importantly, it requires that we speak to our 800+ members about safety and security across the district. We are committed to listening deeply to our members which is why we are launching: Let’s Talk About Safety, our new annual community safety survey for Strathcona BIA members.
We’ve chosen a platform called Ethelo. Ethelo is more than your typical survey tool. It’s a platform where you can engage in dialogue, vote on priorities, and see the district-wide results in real time. Once you sign-up to participate you can return back to the conversation, re-visit answers, and continue to contribute your perspectives.
We’ll be asking members to weigh in on:
- What safety means to you
- Your experiences with the current safety program and model
- How should the Strathcona BIA approach safety across the district
The survey will be open for four weeks starting next week. It takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes to complete, depending on how much you want to share on the platform. All Strathcona BIA members will receive a link to the survey next week. If you missed it, and are an SBIA member who would like the link, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
While we gather the results from the survey engagement, staff will undertake a robust analysis of our current program data from over the last two years. In addition, we will conduct research on other community safety models and review best practices both close to home and from around the world. All this information taken together will inform our safety programming framework moving forward.
Any future safety model of the Strathcona BIA will be brought to the wider community for consultation. We intend to engage community experts from diverse backgrounds including people representing marginalized groups, social service providers, local community centres, Indigenous groups, social enterprises, and community members at large in future phases of our safety program development. We know that partnerships and strong working relationships are integral to our success as an organization and as a district. As bridge-builders, we’re always looking for opportunities for connection within our diverse community.
If you have any questions or concerns about our upcoming engagement around safety programming please reach out to us as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s Talk About Property Tax
As part of our Strathcona Tax Empowerment Program (S.T.E.P.) we are bringing back our annual Property Tax Workshop so you can prepare for what’s ahead for commercial taxation in 2021.
Will businesses and commercial property owners see relief on the tax bill next year? How will changes to COVID-related rebates experienced in 2020 impact what you pay? Which property sales have impacted Strathcona area assessments? The assessment roll drops on January 1st and we’ve partnered with commercial tax agent, Paul Sullivan from Burgess Cawley Sullivan & Associates, to analyze the data and bring you the key information you need to know.
Our virtual “Let’s Talk About Property Tax” workshop takes place on:
Thursday January 7, 2021
The workshop will be held on zoom.
All SBIA members are invited to join the workshop to learn about:
- What’s ahead for commercial taxation in a COVID-19 recovery year
- A snapshot of sales and assessment trends in Strathcona in 2021
- How to appeal your assessment and key dates
Tools and Resources
We’ve updated the Appeal Process Tool Kit for 2021. Find the data on relevant sales that likely had an impact on assessed values in the Strathcona BIA area this year on the last page.
Quick Links for the Assessment Appeal Process
First level of appeal: www.bcassessment.ca
Second level of appeal: www.assessmentappeal.bc.ca
BC Assessment Contact Inquiry Form
(or call BC Assessment at 1-866-825-8322)
- search and browse properties on a map
- create property comparisons
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Strathcona BIA with any questions you have regarding the property assessment appeal process at 604-258-2727 or email@example.com.
We are consistently working on commercial tax advocacy in partnership with all 22 BIAs in Vancouver on behalf of our business communities and BIA members.