Sidney BIA umbrella share program kicks off

This spring, the Sidney Business Improvement Area is hoping to help keep shoppers a little drier while also promoting the town

Carol Whitehouse from Sidney’s Visitor Information Centre shows off one of the new Distinctly Sidney umbrellas from the BIA’s umbrella share program.

This spring, the Sidney Business Improvement Area is hoping to help keep shoppers a little drier while also promoting the town.

The SBIA recently started an umbrella share program which has seen 24 umbrellas with the Distinctly Sidney branding on them distributed to local merchants.

Another 24 are expected to be distributed soon, said Erin Bremner, a board member of the SBIA.

“The idea for the umbrella share program came from our BIA Member relations team Christine Ball and Susan Simosko,” Bremner explained.

“The program is not only a way to offer a small but useful service to our customers and clients in Sidney but it’s also a way to give our BIA members something tangible to recognize us by.”

Bremner said the BIA hopes that even a small project like the umbrella share program will leave a lasting impression on visitors to Sidney.

“We pride ourselves on Sidney having the small town feel and this type of program really enhances that,” she said, adding the umbrellas are already out there in businesses for people to use.

“They are free for people to use and the program is based on the honour system. Customers or clients can pick them up in one place and drop them off at another when they are finished. We hope the umbrella share offers that little level of service that leaves a lasting impression on people, especially tourists” she said.

Bremner added that the umbrella share program, although small, is part of the group trying to increase the BIA’s prominence with business owners in Sidney.

“The hope is that we will be able to walk into a business and the owners and employees will already know about the BIA and the Distinctly Sidney brand.”