Supporting the Re-Opening of Our Downtowns: June Online Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice


DSC_0177Through our series of Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice events, we are continuing to build a network of practitioners with an interest in economic development and downtown revitalization across the province. Given the challenges that have emerged over the last several months across the globe related to COVID-19, particularly for small businesses in downtowns and main street areas, building those networks and sharing leading practices has taken on an even more important role. As part of that work, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is pleased to facilitate the next session in its downtown community of practice event series, to be held on June 1st, 2020, from 10:30-12:00.

Previous sessions have focused on measuring progress on downtown revitalization, undertaking physical improvements to support the success of businesses, key programs to support downtown revitalization (Main Street Revitalization Initiative and Digital Main Street), and the strategies municipalities and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) use to address seasonality.

richard-balog-H9GZgI6jU7Y-unsplashThis session considers the challenges and opportunities facing municipalities, organizations, and small businesses concerned with downtowns and main streets, as regulations around physical distancing start to loosen across Ontario. In many ways, downtowns and main street areas will be asked to operate in fundamentally different ways than they have in the past.

Representatives from the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA), City of Barrie Economic and Creative Development Department, and Downtown Timmins Business Improvement Area (BIA) will share some of the things that their organizations are doing to support the operations of downtowns and main streets, in light of physical distancing protocols, and how their plans have changed from what they were expecting to do earlier this year. The session will conclude with an interactive question and answer period, and an opportunity to share any insights you have on dealing with the challenges and opportunities emerging as our downtowns start to re-open.

To register for the event, click on the link below:

OMAFRA facilitates and coordinates resources and tools to assist rural Ontario communities with engaging in economic development. For more information on OMAFRA’s Downtown Revitalization program, visit our website or contact the Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor in your area.


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