The Downtown Victoria Business Association released its first Annual Report Thursday, highlighting how businesses in the downtown core are performing.
The DVBA sent a survey to more than 1,100 of its members and received almost 400 responses that translated to Victoria earning a B+ letter grade as a place for businesses.
Jeff Bray, executive director of the DVBA, says having real data, as opposed to anecdotal information, allows the association to amplify the voices of their members.
“We can more strongly advocate for their issues, but we can also figure out solutions to those issues,” says Bray.
The report outlined four major areas that businesses want to see improvement on, including parking availability, the cost of parking, safety and security, and the public perception of a clean downtown.
Bray says that while nothing on the report surprised him, he was impressed to see the thoughtful solutions the DVBA members had come up with to address these four areas.
“It would have been easy for our members to say well just build more parking, but that may or may not be a practical solution,” Bray explains.
Instead, business owners answered they would like to see more real-time information through technology that lets people know when and where parking is available when they come downtown.
“To me, that is a very thoughtful response to a problem, but it’s something we can actually focus on and use as we work with the city,” he says.
The complete report can be found at www.dvba.ca/report.
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