(Courtesy of the Downtown Victoria Business Association)

DOWNTOWN DIALOGUE: Small business, the little engine that does

Jeff Bray

Executive Director

Downtown Victoria Business Association

This month, the Downtown Victoria Business Association is celebrating our First Annual Small Business Month, taking what is traditionally a one-week national campaign, and shining the spotlight on our small business members throughout October. It’s an opportunity to remind Victoria of the positive impacts small businesses have on our community.

We have 1500 small businesses within our business association boundaries and I can say with certainty that each one of our members cares deeply about downtown Victoria. They demonstrate their passion and commitment daily. Each story is unique. Some are new Canadians. Others run family businesses. All are focused on providing the best customer service and supporting the local community. They are the backbone of our local economy and our social conscience.

Talk to any small business owner in downtown, and you will quickly learn it is about more that economics, it is about community. You will likely find the owner behind the counter of their shop, making a delivery, or volunteering their time at any number of community events. You may see their logos at those community events, perhaps even on your child’s sports team jersey. You may have had your first job at a small business downtown. It may be that your teenager is working downtown now; and, with that employment is paying their way through college or university.

Successful downtowns are diverse and inclusive, with a mix of old and new establishments. This holds true for downtown Victoria, where we have businesses like Robinson’s Outdoors, who first opened their doors in 1929; or Loy Sing Company in Chinatown, which has been operating in the same location for more than 130 years. Downtown Victoria is also home to many brand-new additions like the locally owned and operated franchise, Fresh Slice Pizza on Douglas, which opened just five months ago.

One of the visible trends I’ve noticed from our small businesses is their incredible passion for and commitment to sustainability. Many of our local restaurants, like the Dutch Bakery, and food retailers, like the Zero Waste Emporium, are committed to zero waste policies. This includes donating any leftover or unused food to local charities, food banks, and homeless shelters. As Peter Ord from the Bateman Foundation says, ‘care for the environment is part of the Victorian identity.’

Downtown Victoria’s First Annual Small Business Month reminds us all to shop locally. When you spend a dollar at a local small business, that dollar stays here supporting the local economy and our community. By supporting small businesses, you are ensuring Victoria remains a great place to live, work, and play.

To learn more about downtown Victoria’s small businesses go to www.dvba.ca/smallbiz to read our in-depth profiles released throughout October.

Jeff Bray is the executive director with the Downtown Victoria Business Association.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police watchdog looking for witnesses to arrests in Victoria’s inner harbour

One male left injured after arrests near Red Fish Blue Fish

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Saanich Peninsula Branch of Royal Canadian Legion leaves North Saanich after 90 years

Branch will temporarily operate out of SHOAL Centre for Seniors

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Most Read