West Broadway BIA Vancouver, BC
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Advocacy

We’re working hard to support small business neighbourhoods, and help shape policies that work too.  Through collaborative efforts and constructive dialogue, we’re addressing business affordability, including commercial property assessments and tax policies.

Businesses of varying sizes, commercial property owners, and residents are all part of the local economy.  Over 95% of businesses in the City have 10 employees or less, and over 84% in BC have 50 employees or less.  Many commercial property owners are also long-time small business owners, and they own their business and property through years of sacrifice.

From local business owners to property owners, both have a vested interest in the community, and contribute to the character of the neighbourhood and local community initiatives.  There are solutions that can be implemented at the municipal and provincial level, which can work for both small business owners and commercial property owners, and local residents and community development.

Our advocacy to support small business neighbourhoods includes presentations at the RAIC/MOV Built City Speaker Series events, BC Land Summit conference, and City Council hearings.

 

Advocacy Presentation:

  • Please click here for our advocacy presentation delivered at events and conferences, and see links below for articles, interviews and more on the issues and solutions to shift from surviving to thriving.

 

 

Media, City Council hearing and Correspondence:

 

 

 

Advocacy presentation images: 

    • Inequitable Tax Burden
      • The much larger portion of taxes paid by a much smaller tax base of commercial properties
    • Really / Not Really
      • Misconceptions vs. reality
        • i.e. ‘Tax shifts will help big businesses’.  98% of business in the City are SMALL BUSINESSES.
        • i.e.  ‘Business and property owners are rich’.  Business owners may barely break even, and property owners can also be small business operators.  Current taxation policies are not affordable, creating high turnover, and forcing longtime property owners to close their business and sell their property.
    • Solutions and Non-solutions
      • Municipal Solutions
        • Property assessment/land averaging (currently the City has targeted land averaging and previously it was ‘across-the-board’)
        • Shifting the inequitable tax burden.  The City approved a 2% tax shift over 3 years, which = approx. $40/year increase for the average home.
        • Revitalization tax exemptions
      • Provincial Solutions
        • Split assessment system, current use valuation for Class 5 and 6, work with municipalities to use available tools

 

 


 

 

 

 

As part of the Vancouver BIA Partnership, we are participating on the COVID-19 Vancouver BIAs task force, and Marketing and Revitalization committee, to advocate for support for business and property owners, and develop reopening initiatives.

We greatly appreciate the assistance and collaboration with all levels of government, to support our local businesses and communities.

Through correspondence and meetings, we are advocating for and achieving greater economic relief, policy changes, and innovative measures to support businesses.  We are meeting with Ministers and MLAs, the Mayor, Councillors, and stakeholders throughout the City and beyond.

Click here for our presentation to City Council’s COVID economic recovery committee regarding priority asks to support businesses and business areas across the City.

In addition, the lobbying efforts that Vancouver BIAs and BCRFA have achieved for restaurants include: wholesale hospitality pricing on alcohol; first industry sector to be reopened due to the “blueprint” created by a restaurant task force; alcohol allowed to be included in take-out menus, and relaxation of the 50% capacity.

We are actively engaging stakeholders and policy makers from municipal to federal, and have meetings with Mayor and Council, City staff, MLA’s, Ministers and others to address issues and solutions, based on input from members and current priorities.

Below is an outline of advocacy efforts.  Please visit our resource page for more updates and contact us if there is anything we can assist with.

We hope you are safe and well, and wish you and your loved ones good health.

  • Save Small Business Petition:

    • A grassroots coalition of small businesses across Canada. Sign the petition to support small businesses, and submit your story about how COVID-19 is impacting your business.
  • Advocacy for Municipal Support: 

    • The Vancouver BIA partnership, representing 22 BIAs across the city, have requested immediate relief for businesses and a municipal recovery strategy, and we are being heard.  Requests are being implemented, including deferral of property taxes and other fees.
    • West Broadway BIA letter advocating for flexible, innovative and expedited patio permitting that will remove impediments to business operations, and facilitate social connections and spaces while maintaining safety protocols. (April 29)
    • Vancouver BIA Partnership letter following up on measures to support small businesses in the near and long-term, noting priority issues and proposed solutions. (March 31)
    • Vancouver BIA Partnership letter for supportive measures and policies for Vancouver’s retail sector. (May 13)
    • Vancouver BIA Partnership letter regarding BIAs and City to work together to identify the needs and opportunities within business areas for public space interventions to expand and support commercial activity, and enhance the comfort and safety of customers. (May 13)
  • Advocacy for Provincial and Federal Support:

    • We area also advocating through BIABC, representing over 60 BIAs across the province, for support at the provincial level.
    • BIABC letter to Premier Horgan with 8 key requests for small business support. (March 27)
    • BIABC letter to Minister Mike Farnworth advocating for safety and security measures for small businesses and law enforcement. (March 31)
    • BIABC letter to provincial ministers advocating for 4 key areas of support, including commercial rent relief, financial aid and not debt deferral, technology development funding, and involvement in the economic recovery task force. (April 20)
    • West Broadway BIA letter to Ministers and MLAs to implement the hospitality pricing model, which will help to reduce costs for restaurants in BC and aid in their survival. (May 11)
    • Vancouver BIA Partnership letter sent to provincial and federal ministers regarding our recommendations for the financial assistance programs. (June 1)
      • Key points include: introducing mechanism to allow tenants to directly access funding via CECRA; increase loan/grant amounts for financial assistance programs, including forgivable portion of CEBA (50%); decrease the eligibility thresholds to maximize number of businesses that can access funding (70% too high for CECRA); expand the timeframe for all funding programs past June.
    • Vancouver BIA Partnership letter sent to the Province and Mayor’s office regarding the Public Health Order on September 8th, 2020. (September 11)
  • COVID-19 Cabinet:

    • Established by the BC business community, to address the significant impacts on our economy, collectively  share information and provide a point of contact for government as it creates policies, programs and measures to support business and workers.

 

Affordability for Local Businesses & Commercial Areas:

In addition to COVID economic response and recovery initiatives, we are also advocating for more sustainable property assessment and tax policies to support both business and property owners.  Many West Broadway property owners are also business owners and/or independent property owners, with a vested interest in their community.  These property owners cannot support their tenants through affordable and sustainable lease arrangements, if they do not have sustainable tax policies.  We need policies that support the community at-large.

In partnership with other stakeholders, BIA efforts helped to lower taxes for commercial properties and businesses.  Please click here for more information, including the West Broadway BIA’s  “Shift from Surviving to Thriving” presentation, which was presented at the BC Land Summit and at Council.

Through stakeholder meetings and correspondence, we are continuing to advocate for fair policies, including the proposed sub-class solution to alleviate the exorbitant tax burden of ‘phantom density’ / development potential, that is imposed on over 3,000 hot spot properties throughout the City.  Please click here for advocacy letters on this issue.

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West Broadway BIA

c/o Suite 238 - 2912 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V6K 0E9
Tel 778-384–6377
Fax 604-739-8511