“If those businesses fail, our economy is going to fail in British Columbia.”
Elizabeth Model, CEO of Downtown Surrey’s (in British Columbia) Business Improvement Association (BIA), had this thought upon realizing the significant impact of the pandemic on the City’s businesses and community.
In this podcast, Colliers’ Madeleine Nicholls speaks with Elizabeth Model on the creative and innovative strategies the Downtown Surrey BIA created and implemented to support the close to 1,500 businesses in its jurisdiction amidst unprecedented pandemic protocols and businesses’ varying situations: Calling retailers, restaurants, shopping centres, one by one, to ascertain their circumstances, the level of support they needed, and how the BIA could best help. Recruiting and mobilizing 19 Simon Fraser University summer students to help get businesses up and running, from building websites and creating social media presence, to enabling a more proactive sales approach. And more.
While covering the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the discussion also touches on the bright spots that emerged from such obstacles, including businesses helping businesses, Surrey residents shopping local, and entrepreneurs establishing operations at the height of the pandemic.
Likewise, Elizabeth model shares best practices the Surrey BIA has learned and is adopting from other downtown associations, how she and her team are “keeping ahead of the game”, and her own thoughts on what’s in store for the next 12 months to two years.
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