The Ambleside Dundarave Business Improvement Association (ADBIA) recently wrapped up a unique initiative that pumped over $30,000 into the local economy.
Residents in West Vancouver were sent $20 in “BIA Bucks” that were redeemable as cash at participating restaurants, shops and services in Ambleside and Dundarave.
With over 35 businesses signed up, residents spent their “Bucks” at florists, gardening centres, coffee shops, restaurants, clothing stores, gift shops and markets. The ADBIA then reimbursed the businesses for the full amount of “BIA Bucks” they had received.
“Most people used their BIA Bucks at restaurants and coffee shops, which was to be expected, but what came as a surprise was how much was spent at the local grocery store. This says to me that our community is still very aware of where they are spending their money and that having an extra $20 to spend towards groceries was a priority for many people,” said Maureen O’Brien, Executive Director of the ADBIA.
Jocelyne Magne, owner of Red Horses Gallery in Dundarave said there have been a few initiatives brought in by the ADBIA in the past 12 months that have had a positive ‘upselling’ impact on the Gallery.
“I particularly noticed an increase in customer traffic ‘with intention’ during the month of March, which is normally one of our slowest months of the year. Not only did our March 2021 sales surpass our targets and expectations, but I feel confident in surmising that a lot of the customers came in specifically to spend the BIA Bucks,” she said.
Moreover, most of the customers used the BIA Bucks for purchases well in excess of the $20 and it was, in every instance, an upselling advantage for us, Magee noted.
“This promotion definitely made a difference to the traffic in the store during an otherwise quiet time of the year and in some cases, was an incentive that brought in new clientele.”
Delany’s Coffee House has been in Dundarave since 1999, and owner Robin Delany is happy with the BIA Bucks initiative and the support it showed for small businesses.
“During these challenging times in the hospitality and retail business sector, the BIA Bucks hit it out of the park. It was right on for so many different reasons – timing, community focus, customer value. Maureen and the ADBIA are focusing on the right issues and using the right levers,” Delany says.
“Supporting our local businesses is the mandate of the ADBIA and encouraging residents to “Shop the Villages” is vital to the sustainability of our business community, ”says O’Brien.
In British Columbia, for every $100 spent locally, up to $63 is recirculated in the community and, even more impressive, local restaurants recirculate 67.9% of all revenues locally, she adds.
Shannon Walker, the chair of the ADBIA said the board is committed to helping businesses navigate through these challenging times and will continue to support creative, fun and unique initiatives that not only help local businesses but also engage the community.