Wednesday, June 12, 2024

‘Façade beautification’ program may allow downtown Victoria businesses to clean up storefronts


Downtown Victoria businesses could soon have access to funds that will allow them to beautify their storefronts. 

This Thursday, August 3rd, the City of Victoria council will be voting on whether or not to approve a program which would provide funds to downtown businesses that would help them clean up their storefronts.

The report calls for a partnership between the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and city staff which would grant the DVBA authority to negotiate and provide funds to businesses who apply for façade beautification.

“As a capital city, the importance of Victoria’s downtown core as a centre for business, shopping, dining, and entertainment is reliant on its vibrancy and vitality,” reads the report by Kerri Moore, Director of Business and Community Relations.

She spoke to the motions passed in May which increased the times motorists have to pay for parking downtown and the rate at which they are charged. Moore reminds council that the funds are to be re-invested in the downtown core for beautification and maintenance, among other new opportunities for parks and programming. 

In mid-May, city staff proposed the Downtown Revitalization Program (DRP) to city council which would appropriately allocate some of the newfound funds totalling around $980,000. This program is to be an ongoing part of Victoria’s Financial Plan going forward. 

Now, staff is suggesting to city council that part of the DRP be the Business Façade Beautification Reimbursement Program. 

“The program provides resources for businesses to improve the look and cleanliness of their storefronts,” wrote Moore. “In 2023, staff recommend allocating $50,000.00 from the Downtown Revitalization Program funds to the Business Façade Beautification Reimbursement Program.”

Some possibilities for businesses benefitting from this program would be 

  • Exterior building surface treatments to include siding, moulding, trim and paint
  • Upgraded exterior lighting fixtures
  • Exterior awnings – cleaning or replacement
  • Permanent landscaping. • Bird deterrent fixtures
  • Exterior cleaning, like hiring a professional company to scrub walls, windows, doors, awnings, etc. 

She says that the program would tangibly improve the visual appeal of downtown and help the city retain its reputation of vibrancy and aesthetically unique. 

City council will vote on whether to approve the report this Thursday during their Committee of the Whole daytime meeting.

Curtis Blandy

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