Think of this newsletter as your one-stop-shop for news and opportunities impacting your business.
Effective April 2, 2021 the Downtown London office will be closed in compliance with public health guidelines. All staff will continue to be available via phone or email during this time.
Important Downtown Dollar Update
The traditional paper Downtown Dollar system is getting an upgrade! Downtown London is switching from a paper system to a gift card system. Here’s what will change:
- Where can a consumer spend Downtown Dollars?
- In-Store at Participating Downtown Businesses
- Any downtown businesses e-commerce platform
- Downtown London’s Online Marketplace
How does a business redeem the Downtown Dollars (get paid for them)?
- Payment is automatically deposited into your account when a customer makes a purchase using the gift card, much like a debit or credit transaction.
- You no longer will have to hold on to paper bills to bring to the office for redemption
What are the benefits of this new system?
- Consumers can use Downtown Dollars to make purchases in-store, online on your e-commerce platform, and on the Downtown London Online Marketplace
- Downtown Dollars can be spent during lockdowns and when consumers can’t visit your business in-person
- The gift cards are accessible – making it easier for those with visual impairments to use in comparison to the paper bills
- You receive payment automatically when someone spends Downtown Dollars in your business. No need to make a trip to our office for redemption!
A Note on Paper Downtown Dollars
Our goal is to have this system up and running by early July. Paper bills will still be in circulation and can be accepted as we continue to phase them out.
How do I make the switch?
Follow the link below. All you will need is your business contact information and access to your POS machines.
A member of our team will be reaching out to businesses via phone in the next few weeks to help walk businesses through the process and ensure that everyone who would like to accept the new gift cards is set up to do so. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact either Colleen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vicki (email@example.com).
Patio Improvement Program Grant
Approved through the London Community Recovery Network to encourage enhancement of outfoor patios in the London Business Improvement Areas (BIA’s). This grant is retroactive to February 23, 2021 and expires Junes 15, 2021.
Click here for a document of curated grants and loans available to small businesses from a variety of sources (Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Private). Updated monthly.
City of London Updates
OUR CORE AREA – Recording of Forum (in case you missed it!). Topics discussed include the Ambassador Program, an overview of Core Area Summer Services, information about COAST, and safety/security in the core. (1.5 HOUR WATCH)
Stay Safe London – Rapid Testing Kits
London Chamber of Commerce and TechAlliance, in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments have launched a free rapid antigen screening program.
StaySafeLondon is a way for small and medium sized businesses in London to engage in self-administered rapid antigen screening to asymptomatic employees. Place your order today!
We want to hear from you!
Help us create a plan for a vibrant and prosperous downtown!
Downtown London is in the process of developing a new Strategy and Implementation Plan (2021-2015). The new strategy will build upon our past successes, provide a roadmap for our recovery and rebuilding efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure that the organization undertakes initiatives and priorities that will lead to a vibrant downtown community.
Main areas for consideration as part of the Downtown London strategy will include:
- Demographic and Economic Analysis
- Best Practices and Trends
- Market Analysis
- Broad Community Engagement
- BIA Governance
- Detailed Analysis of Options and Strategic Priorities
The Strategy will establish Downtown London’s goals, objectives, strategic actions, and performance measures with an accompanying implementation plan. To learn more about the process, click here.
Your opinion matters to us. We will be using your feedback to shape this strategy. Please complete the below survey by May 26, 2021.