On November 30th, 2016 Vancouver City Council passed Phase 2 of the Downtown Eastside Community Economic Development Strategy.
The CED Strategy was co-created by the City of Vancouver and the Community Economic Development Strategy Action Committee (CEDSAC) to meet the needs of the Downtown Eastside Plan. HxBIA has been involved with CEDSAC since its inception, and we have greatly admired its inclusive and collaborative approach to fostering connection between traditional business and social enterprises and nonprofit organizations.
HxBIA’s Executive Director, Landon Hoyt, spoke in support of the Strategy and its emphasis on strengthening the employment continuum, social hiring and social procurement.
A key action in the strategy is the Community Impact Real Estate Society (CIRES). Moving forward with this model of a commercial “lease trust” will help to ensure affordable commercial space is preserved for new and existing businesses that provide for the low-income community, including low-income residents and entrepreneurs. This is a major opportunity for the local business community, the low-income community, and the DTES community as a whole. However, HxBIA had two recommendations to Council and the CEDSAC:
- We encourage the City to contribute properties to this lease trust portfolio and be a leader in building this program and helping to stabilizing affordable space for social enterprises and low-income serving businesses.
- And we want to ensure that clear guidelines are established for verifying those businesses that will fill these spaces. This is to ensure that the program works for all parties involved, and to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the system.
We look forward to continuing to support CEDSAC’s work, and we hope the CED Strategy can serve as a great example for different communities across the city.
If you would like to find out more about the DTES Community Economic Development Strategy and what this could mean for your business and community, please see below for more information.