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Retail Signature Series Episode 2: Innovations Shifts and Progress in BC's Fastest Growing City summary

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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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Madeleine Nicholls

Senior Managing Director, Brokerage | Vancouver


Madeleine Nicholls is the Senior Managing Director, Vancouver Brokerage and National Retail Brokerage Lead for Canada. She joined the organization in March 2020, starting her Colliers Leadership career in Toronto before relocating to Vancouver.

With over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, Madeleine has established herself in the industry as an expert and leader. Prior to Colliers, she worked with major landlords across Canada to realize their business goals and properties’ value. She has worked for owners and developers on acquisitions and dispositions, has successfully leased up a variety of mixed-use, retail  and office projects. She also has experience on the brokerage side of the business having represented national tenant expansions across Canada, and has also worked on urban and suburban retail. Madeleine has expertise at all levels of new business development from strategic planning and acquisitions to prospecting, pitching, negotiating offers and leases, and build out of space.  She has exceptional tenant relationship management and knowledge in the redevelopment of properties to maximize value.

Madeleine is a champion and ally of Colliers’ Diversity & Inclusion program, volunteering her time as the Co-Chair for The Colliers’ Women's Network. Her allyship extends further than Colliers, as she actively volunteers her time to speak to student groups, industry events and the media.

Madeleine has dual Canadian-British citizenship, has lived on 3 continents and travelled to 33 countries.

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