Strathcona BIA Planning – New Proposed 7-Year SBIA Levy Ceiling, 2024-2025 Annual Budget and Strathcona Economic Vision
Through the many months of work to develop the Strathcona Economic Vision and Implementation Plan, this work is now completed. We would like to thank all the SBIA members who have been generous contributors to this work with their insights, ideas and time. This work has also provided the foundation and structure for SBIA Board and staff to develop the proposed 2024-2025 annual budget & 7-Year Budget Ceiling.
To view and download the Proposed 2024-2025 Budget & 7-Year Budget Ceiling, click the link below:
Please contact the SBIA team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments or trouble in accessing any of the document links.
What We Heard
Between November 2022 and January 2023, the Strathcona Business Improvement Association (Strathcona BIA) engaged with members and the Board of Directors to understand the key challenges and future opportunities for the organization and the neighbourhood overall. The input received will be used to inform the Economic Vision and Implementation Plan. This plan will be presented to the membership at the Annual General Meeting in September 2023.
The SBIA engaged through a range of communications including workshops, member interviews, open houses, and an online survey.
Key themes across all engagement activities include:
Cleanliness, safety, and public perception: Participants noted the growing challenges in the area regarding cleanliness (graffiti, litter, etc.). This challenge is coupled with safety concerns related to increasing crime and loitering. As a result, there is a negative perception of the area which may hinder the attraction and retention of businesses.
Rigid zoning: Participants celebrated the creative nature of the community while expressing frustration with rigid zoning regulations. The City of Vancouver Zoning Bylaw is out of date and does not recognize or contemplate emerging businesses and industries particularly those that are more creative and less traditional. Members feel they cannot use their spaces the way they would like to, and that rigid zoning makes it difficult to rent their spaces to prospective tenants.
Advocacy and collaboration with the City of Vancouver: Strathcona BIA members highlighted the need to work more closely with the City of Vancouver to ensure the City is providing the services and support they require. Additionally, more collaboration is needed on municipal processes such as permitting, zoning, and licensing to ensure the area can more effectively attract and retain business and investment.
Access to transportation: Access to convenient transit (busses and SkyTrain stations), along with greater investments in active transportation would help bring people to the area and get current residents where they need to go. Access to various forms of transportation is a challenge for the neighbourhood.
Support with promotion and marketing: Marketing is a challenge for many businesses. Support in this area could help businesses grow. In addition, generating more awareness about the local area through community events or other forms of promotion would increase foot traffic and activate the streets.
Inclusive and accessible spaces: Strathcona is a place for everyone. Members feel paying more attention to accessibility and inclusion in spaces (wheelchair access, accessible infrastructure, seating for seniors, inclusive businesses) would support community livability for all.
Support for new members: Members expressed a desire to see more support and orientation provided for new members and more networking opportunities across the membership.
Activation of vacant properties: Members view the empty lots and buildings throughout the Strathcona BIA as an opportunity to accommodate new businesses, draw people into the community, and improve community safety and cleanliness.
Strathcona as an Urban Industrial Business District
Strathcona is known as a unique urban industrial district, thanks to a diverse mix of commercial uses and zoning options, its proximity to the downtown core, and the existing array of businesses and mixed-use assets in the area. Different competing socio-economic factors and business trends present future challenges and opportunities for Strathcona. These range from tremendous development pressure, the loss of industrial lands, affordability of both residential and commercial spaces, sense of safety, and the condition of the public realm, to name a few. A strong economic vision and implementation plan will help ensure the Strathcona BIA plays an effective role in industrial and commercial lands protection and attracting investment in both established and emerging industry clusters to the district.
What is Strathcona Economic Vision and Implementation
This exercise will provide a clear vision and strong economic development plan that looks at diverse business sectors across the community. A focus of this work will be the protection of our commercial and industrial lands. This work will also look at ways for efficient and effective land-use while maximizing Strathcona’s strengths and economic opportunities.
We will leverage Metro 2050 and the Vancouver Plan as we move forward. We invite Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver to partner with us in implementing our vision and economic development plan.
This planning exercise will involve technical work and stakeholder engagement. Members will be invited to fill out a survey and representatives from all business sectors will be interviewed. We will also be hosting a series of workshops early in 2023.