COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
and Resources

Message to BIA Members: March 25, 2020

As new information continues to be released about COVID-19, the Uptown Waterloo BIA has been working hard to gather and summarize the information for you, our members, and the public. We’ve sent you daily updates and posted a number of resources on our website – where we continue to add more, each day.
 
We have also been on calls and video conferences with several local and provincial partners including other Ontario BIAs. Working together, our provincial BIAs have drafted and sent open, recommendation letters (found below) pertaining to small businesses to the Prime Minister, Ontario Premier, Minister of Finance and Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. Included in the letters are really important suggestions being made on behalf of Ontario’s main street businesses. As such, the Uptown Waterloo BIA has shared them with the City of Waterloo’s Mayor, Councillors and Commissioners as well as MP Bardish Chagger and MPP Catherine Fife to help guide them in their own discussions around how best to assist Uptown business and property owners.
 
We also let our community leaders know that each day the BIA is hearing from Uptown’s landholders and business owners regarding lost jobs, staff layoffs, concerns over paying rent, taxes and employees, overhead costs and parking permit costs – to name a few. We noted that the enforcement of social distancing has cut your revenues dramatically but that all of your expenses remain. We shared research from a 2016 JP Morgan Chase study that indicated 25% of small businesses have less than two week’s cash on hand and 75% have less than two months. And, we reminded them that this revenue matter is even more problematic in Uptown due to businesses still being in recovery mode after several years of construction.
 
We stated that many of you were forced to close your doors in the best interest of our public and that it’s their moral duty, along with the BIA, to help you survive.
 

City Support

The BIA has been in regular contact with the City of Waterloo since the pandemic began. We would also like you to know that this afternoon, City Council is reviewing recommendations made by staff regarding financial relief to residents and businesses during these challenging times. As soon as we have the details of what that support looks like, we will share it with you.
 

Additional BIA Support

In addition to the regular updates we send out that include links to programs, training and experts, we have created template plans and kits pertaining to marketing and social media – to help you with your communications. Please remember that we are available for coaching and brainstorming on these strategies and more. To request a meeting, call our office and leave a message or email uptownwaterloobia@waterloo.ca.
 
We will be looking to boost funding in our business programs like the Hand in Hand and Co-op advertising initiatives – for when it’s safe to return to business.
 
We continue to host social media campaigns and speak to the media to encourage support of Uptown businesses and remind the community of Uptown’s resiliency and ability to innovate during times of struggle.
 
Please keep reaching out to us, we are here to help.
 
The Uptown Waterloo BIA Team


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