Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Location: online 6:32 p.m.
Attendees: David O’Connell (DO), Colin Best (CB), Joe Taglieri (JT), Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Margaret Lara (ML), Sara Bergsma (SB), Eric Chabot (EC), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Troy Newton (TN)
EC called the meeting to order at 6:32 pm.
EC asked the committee if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. No declarations were made.
EC asked the group to review the previous meeting minutes.
- CB motioned to accept. DO seconded the motion. Motion passed
Treasurer’s Report – MG
- Expenses in December around $23,000, consistent with trends from the last few months.
- Total expenses for the year approximately $211,000 (10% lower than anticipated).
- Projected surplus for 2020 is $64,000.
- Revenues higher by $44k (mostly due to Sony donation, Digital Main Street)
- Expenses lower by $20k
- Some of the revenues from 2020 will be used for expenses in 2021, but still a healthy carry-forward into the new year (Digital Service Squad, banner printing and installation).
- Events likely can’t happen this summer due to COVID, expenses will likely trend this way for several months into 2021.
- DO moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. CB seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Town Hall closed for a period over the holidays.
- Due to stay-at-home orders, Town facilities are closed, some registered virtual programs in place.
- CN intermodal decision has been delayed, likely to February, Town and other community groups are opposed to the hub.
- Visit region’s website, click on yellow banner, for COVID-19 information and updates.
- For specific questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Growing COVID-19 numbers in Milton, high relative to elsewhere in the region.
- Region’s budget was approved last month.
- Regional official plan review still underway.
- Depending on vaccine, could be September or later before municipalities return to normal.
- DO moved to accept the Council Reports. MG seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report
- Application for Canada Summer Jobs Grant underway for two students (different times of the year).
- Shahrez (Digital Service Squad member) completing his contract with us at the end of this month.
- Have spoken to Rachael about staying with us beyond the Digital Main Street project term.
- Several businesses have complained about anti-masker issues – protests, rude customers, people coming into the store not wanting to wear masks.
- Received complaints from the community related to businesses continuing to operate in the lockdown.
- Continuing to communicate updated rules and requirements to businesses, grant opportunities, etc. BIA is not taking an enforcement role.
- KTD – Keep directing members to the information they are looking for. Enforcement will be managed by health department, police, etc.
2021 operational calendar
- Operational calendar summary presented.
- Calendar outlines our work for the year, project timing, etc. Helps with HR and budget planning. Updated regularly.
- Events – Q1-Q3 virtual events only, and face-to-face event at Christmas. Dependent on vaccine rollout timing. Virtual events could include videos, scavenger hunts, activities to do at home or online, social media engagement, sponsorship, etc.
- For Farmer’s Market, Chamber is considering both Fairgrounds and Main Street and will make a decision based on Public Health requirements (decision likely next week)
- Promotions – Promoting downtown through social media, website, Discover Guide, etc. Digital Service Squad building capacity of our members and helping them promote themselves online. Had planned to be doing 360 photography of businesses but with lockdown, haven’t been able to. Squad is building a digital marketing resource bank and doing one-to-one consulting. Would like to begin exploring different ways to use wifi downtown.
- Attracting new businesses – Continue monitor vacancies and share information when businesses inquire about space.
- Advocacy & key issues – Support our members, provide information, and voice their needs and concerns to all levels of government. Key areas currently: COVID-19, also temporary patio program and new Digital Main Street funding.
- Beautification – New banners going up this month. Wreaths will be removed when banners come down. Summer landscaping, electrical, seasonal décor, etc.
- Sponsorship – Will start reaching out for event/activity sponsorship as well as garden sponsorship.
- Summary –
- Q1 – COVID-19, Admin, DSS/DMS
- Q2 – Beautification, sponsorship, virtual events
- Q3 – Summer activity, beautification, Holiday planning
- Q4 – Holiday event if possible, beautification, planning for 2021
- Milton Economic Development creating a permanent program for temporary extended patio.
- BIA and Chamber providing input to town staff on development of the program.
- Report for Council likely in February, roll out of program in March or April.
- Town suggested exploring using on-street parking spots in order to extend patios. We are exploring this further and will be speaking to members about it.
- Asked Town to keep fees similar to last year for permits and use of parking spots.
Digital Main Street update
- OBIAA and others requesting funding from provincial and federal governments to run DMS again.
- Currently working with Economic Development on a letter for Mayor Krantz to send to MPP, MP, various ministers, etc expressing support for the program.
- Conducting a survey of members and got lots of positive feedback on the program.
Digital Transformation Grants
- Approximately 40 businesses received the $2,500 grant (approx. $100,000 awarded to main street businesses). Many have begun their digital marketing work with this money.
- Some businesses have hired businesses within our BIA for their projects.
- Two businesses expressed concern over being able to spend the dollars in time because of COVID-19/lock-downs – considering declining the grant.
- Among other things, OBIAA asking funders to extend deadline for grant recipients to spend the money.
Digital Service Squad:
- Due to lockdown, Squad supporting businesses virtually. Providing one-on-one support for businesses, developing and gathering content for a ‘Resource’ section on our website.
- Our application was approved for Transformation Team (team of marketing specialists) out of Communitech. BIA will receive free digital marketing support, access to learning, for up to four weeks.
- Areas of focus: enhancing our website, recommendations on our social media activities and how we manage customer information, expanding our own knowledge in specific areas.
- CB moved to accept the ED Report. KTD seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- CB – Idea of honouring Mike Boughton – he was a business owner downtown for 50 years, a council member for 11 years and a BIA board member.
- Consider naming one of our remaining walkways in downtown after him – either the one by Ivy or Bergsma’s. The only named walkway we currently have is Hugh Lane.
- Would be a great way to reference these walkways and recognize his contribution.
- RS to inquire at the Town. Board to discuss further and make a motion next month.
- CB moved to adjourn. JT seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:11 pm.