The OBIAA (Ontario BIA Association) is OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. They are calling on the Federal and Provincial Governments to lead the way by creating recovery solutions and a phased-in approach. OBIAA says that by creating a phased strategy, we can begin to create balance – a balance which includes physical, mental and economic health.
The St. Catharines Downtown Association stands by the OBIAA Rapid Responsible Recovery Plan.
A Rapid Responsible Recovery should include the following steps:
- Mental health and addiction strategy – A “National Strategy” on Mental Health and Addiction that will help address the issues within our communities that connect all (3) three levels of Government.
- Capacity limits – reintroduce staged capacity limits with an allowed percentage
- Outside patios and activations – using reintroduced staged capacity limits, allow passive activations and patios to open
- Screening – Roll out ability to use rapid antigen screening to all open small businesses
- Vaccine roll-out – now that we have the momentum, continue to aggressively and efficiently vaccinate residents and move up the timing for the second vaccine.
- Main street Investment in Infrastructure – provide core funding to main streets (and BIAs) to build key infrastructure required to welcome residents back to their main street communities, while supporting consumer confidence campaigns
- Digital Main Street – work closing to continue the Digital Main Street Grants Program, through Digital Service Squads and Digital Transformation Grants for a minimum of two years.
- Enforcing provincial mandates – Businesses are now in the position of “policing” their customers, and while they are willing to support and uphold these mandates, they need the active support of law enforcement.
OBIAA believes these eight (8) steps will help rebuild the main small business street economy, leading to a rapid responsible recovery for all of Ontario’s communities.