Bronte Buzz Village Update

Bronte Village BIA's Monthly Newsletter
February  2017 Edition

What's in the issue?

Good Day Everyone,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cathie Han, I have joined Bronte BIA as the marketing and member services coordinator since December 2016. It is nice to meet you through our monthly newsletter. Valentines Day is coming up fast. Please don't hesitate to contact me for any marketing, communication, and other member services support. Let's get in touch through BIA social media or/and email at

Starting this month, we will have a new Special Column, "Business Gas Station" to share and 'fill up' on ideas for small business, operations, marketing tips and other information with you. We hope that you will find it helpful and we will appreciate your feedback for improvement. Enjoy reading, thank you!

guideReading Guide:
Bronte BIA Rewarded Funding for Canada 150

Our BIA is very excited to have been awarded funding from both the federal government -Ministry of Canadian Heritage Canada 150 Celebration and Commemoration Program and the province's Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program. The Bronte BIA competed with thousands of applications from across the province and from across the country and was one of the successful organizations granted funding.

The funding will allow us to bring TWO exciting new projects to Bronte Village this summer - Dept. of Canadian Heritage grant for The Bronte Heritage Trail & and Canada 150 Mobile Exhibit project and The Ontario 150 Canada Celebration 'At Home in Bronte' Outdoor Art Project.

The Bronte Heritage Trail and Canada 150 Mobile Exhibit is a new project designed to bring Bronte Village's history to life with location-based content, e-beacons and interpretive signage, to highlight the unique roots of this community, and promote Canada's 150th year of confederation.

Burlington MPP and Ontario Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon said that 2017 marked a once-in-a-generation chance to celebrate who we were and share our dreams for the next 150 years. The Bronte BIA received the congratulatory call from MP John Oliver. The Bronte Business Improvement Area (BIA) is very excited and honoured to be part of the big celebration of Canada 150 and welcome all visitors to our beautiful home, Bronte Village in southwest Oakville by the lake. 
Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn broke the news to us about  funding for the Ontario 150 'At Home in Bronte' public art project. It will incorporate community participation and artistic expression to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary and welcome new and existing Canadians home to Bronte Village in Oakville. We will tell the story of Canada's and Ontario's history in Oakville through the design and installation of individually-painted Muskoka chairs, displayed at Canada Day and around the village this summer.

ArtsVest Oakville Workshop and Launch Celebration on 15 Feb

Oakville has been selected as one of this year's artsVest Ontario communities. This program will bring 10 months of sponsorship training and $35,000 of matching incentive funds for arts and cultural groups to the community. The training begins with a half-day sponsorship workshop as well as a celebration launch event on Wednesday February 15, 2017 at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre.
Information session and sponsorship workshop

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 1-5 p.m.
Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre
2302 Bridge Road
Event details and registration

artsVest Oakville launch celebration

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 5-6 p.m.
Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, Black Box Theatre
2302 Bridge Road

Members of the community, local municipal leaders, business professionals and cultural organizations are invited to join Business for the Arts and Mayor Rob Burton for a launch reception celebrating Oakville's success in securing the artsVest program.

The artsVest program in Oakville is made possible with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Canada, as well as in-kind support from The Town of Oakville.


Tonia Di Risio
Program Supervisor- Culture, QEPCCC

Claire Hefferon
artsVest National Program Director
Click link to register for the workshop and/or the launch
More detailed information is attached and on the website:

brontevillagereviewBronte Village Growth Area Review - Draft Policy Changes
The livable Oakville Plan (Town of Oakville Official Plan) provides a policy framework to guide growth and change for the lands south of Dundas Street and north of Highway 407 to the year 2031. The Plan identifies Bronte Village as one of six growth areas planned to accommodate new growth and development through intensification. Bronte Village is envisioned to be revitalized as a mixed use area with a thriving commercial area and variety of housing options that provide a year round environment for residents, employees, and visitors. 

Since the adoption and approval of the Livable Oakville Plan, the Provincial Policy Statement (2014), the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Amendment 2), and the Region of Halton Official Plan (ROPA 38), have been updated.

This report represents draft policy changes for the Bronte Village Growth Area (Appendix A). Public open houses are intended to  be scheduled in the coming months to discuss the draft policy changes and solicit public input. Staff welcome comments from the Subcommittee. 

Please find the full report on Town website to get more details.

Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Study - Lakeshore Road West Improvements (Mississauga Street to Dorval Drive)

The Town of Oakville has initiated a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) Study for improvements to lakeshore Road West from Mississauga Street to Dorval Drive.

The Town is considering a wide range of options to satisfy travel demand for all road users within the lakeshore Road West Corridor and within the study area. The improvements are required to meet the needs of the town to year 2031. To determine the nature of the problem, an inventory will be completed to identify roadway structural deficiencies, capacity deficiencies, and road user safety conditions, and the natural and social environmental conditions that may be impacted. Once the problem is fully understood, a set of alternative solutions will be developed and presented to the public and regulatory agencies for comment.

You are encouraged to provide your comments so that they may be incorporated into the planning of this project. Please use the attached comment form to provide a response to indicate an interest to participate, and state study concerns or requirements. 

SymgineSymgine Inc. OMB Appeal to East Street Development Application

The prehearing in the Symgine appeal was held on December 12th at Town Hall. A 7 day hearing was set to commence June 26, 2017, lasting until July 5, 2017 due to the long weekend. OMB hearings are open to the public and if you require any further information regarding the OMB hearing, please get more details at the link

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Oakville BIAs Host OBIAA in Oakville
Oakville BIAs 
hosted the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) in mid-January at our BIA member Quality Suites Hotel on Bronte Road and in restaurants in the three BIA areas. Bronte BIA's Ann Sargent and Doug Sams of the Kerr Village BIA are on the board of the OBIAA. The OBIAA represents over 60,000 small businesses, which is a large percentage of Ontario's 407,000 small businesses.
Many do not know what a BIA is or what it does. 

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a "made-in-Ontario" innovation that allows local business people and commercial property owners and tenants to join together and, with the support of the municipality, to organize, finance, and carry out physical improvements and promote economic development in their district. The world's first Business Improvement Area (BIA) was created in Bloor West Village in 1970's. Since the creation of the first BIA, many more have been established, and now there are more than 270 BIAs in Ontario representing over 60,000 local businesses across the province.

BIA's are self-funded, financed by a tax levy on commercial properties located within their defined boundaries, and receive no government funding. The role of a BIA is to improve business capacity in their geographic areas, through tools such as beautification, marketing,  events, and business development. In Oakville for example, events like Canada Day, Jazz Festival, Kerr-Fest, and Midnight Madness are organized by BIAs and financed through those funds along with any additional private sector and grant funding that the BIA's are able to secure.
Bronte Village BIA as one of the three BIAs in Oakville (the other two are Downtown Oakville , and  Kerr Village ) plays a vital role in improving the economic health and quality of life in Bronte Village Oakville.  The BIA works on behalf of its business and commercial property through beautification, marketing and advocacy to promote this unique harbour community and tourism destination to make this an ideal place in which to live, shop, work, play and welcome tourists who bring in new dollars to our local economy. 

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Bronte Village BIA 
Strategic Planning Session Wednesday January 25
Passionate volunteer BIA board members, BIA staff, our Councillors Ward 1- Ralph Robinson and Local and Regional Councillor Sean O'Meara recently attended a Bronte BIA Strategic Planning Session to focus on ways to improve the economic vitality of Bronte Village.

All attendees reinforced Bronte BIA's mission as a self-funded, non-profit local board of the Town of Oakville, dedicated to improving the economic health, prosperity and quality of life in Bronte Village.  The BIA works on behalf of its business and commercial property owners to create the best possible environment in which to work, shop, live and visit through beautification, marketing and advocacy.
Attendees shared thoughts on the challenges and strengths we have in marketing and branding, community engagement and advocacy, as well as community and economic development in Bronte BIA, and produced specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and timely (SMART) action plans for presentation to the membership.  

All attendees agreed it was a very productive meeting and looking forward to implementation of plans to keep our community a vibrant place for businesses and residents alike.

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A Changing Neighborhood Is Not An Unstable One

Here is an interesting article we would like to share with you. Here are some excerpts, if you like it please click the link to find the full article.    

"The difference between stability and sameness and allowing a city to change. "

"What do you seek from your city? If you were to move across the country and had your pick, what characteristics would you seek out for your new hometown? Good schools? A strong economy? Perhaps exciting nightlife, excellent parks, or good transit? What about constancy? How important is a place's resistance to change?"

"But stability allows for change, even growth. A child grows into a teenager who grows into an adult and remains a stable person. A building grows from a hole in the ground to a scaffolded construction site to a skyscraper and doesn't fall over. And before our completely zoned and litigious modern times, a neighborhood grew as well-from a collection of homes to a retail corner to some small apartments to a commercial corridor and finally to a dense and vibrant district where all types of living, loving, commerce, salesmanship, and industry occur. Not all at once but piece by piece, every city in the history of mankind has grown in this way.
It isn't a guarantor of stability, it's an imposition of sameness, a codification of bland, a legal requirement for stagnation. A place which fights the arrival of change is doomed to heartache because, good or bad, change is coming."

"Can we accept this change? Can we look to the future and be grateful for our opportunities rather than resentful of our need to adjust? I hope we can."

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Business Gas Station - Time to Fill Up Your Tank
- Inexpensive ways to grow your Small Business

Small businesses represent an important segment of Ontario's economy. Every year, thousands of people launch their own businesses and start their career as entrepreneurs. But unfortunately there are also many many small businesses that die on their journey to the success. 

So surviving and growing your small business is the number one priority for most of small business owners. But how?

To survive and grow your business, of course, you have to make a good business plan, find or invent differentiated products or services, identify your market segment,  and so on... Besides these big steps, are there any other things you can try to grow your business?

This month we would like to share with you 5 Tips that might help you grow your business in an inexpensive way.  Hope you find it helpful.

1. Get online, Get digital

This may not be new for many of you but there are still a considerable amount of people who haven't tried it yet. They stand still, reluctant to embrace change, firmly believing that they will be fine without changing. But like a boat sailing against the current, you must forge ahead or be swept downstream. In this digital world an ONLINE presence has already become a MUST for most businesses. There are several ways you can try to spread your wings to reach new customers who may not be able to find you now.

  • Website: if you have a business and don't have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A website itself can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow. As a business owner, you need to know where your consumers are. But what if consumers know your business and what you can offer, but they can't reach you? It is like putting a message into a bottle and dropping it overboard at sea. You know where it is, but nobody else will. That is one of the risks you take by not having a website for your business. Websites are much more affordable these days than in the past. You can't afford not to have one.
  • Social Media: leveraging social media doesn't simply mean you register an account in whatever social platform. You need to study each platform and see which one will be a match or serve your business best before you jump on board. You need to create original content, and the most important thing is that you must find a way to engage with your existing or potential customers. We will have a separate section to talk about social media in the later issues.
  • E-Mail Marketing: build an email marketing list. Compared with social media, email marketing is older and less fun, but it provides the most direct line of communication for maintaining contact with your loyal customers and for attracting new ones by turning leads into sales. The engagement rate can be much higher than social media. It's designed for business, and it can be fun.
  • Online Sales: thanks to the internet, businesses get the opportunity to break through geographic boundaries, compete globally to go to any market you would like to target.  It's the most cost effective way to scale your sales.
2.   Loyalty:
  • Customer Loyalty: It costs between 4 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. So why not to consider launching a loyalty program? It might cost some money in the beginning, but once you have it in place, your customers will usually end up spending more and visiting you more often than they might have before. The other benefit for good customers is the "word of mouth marketing". Your loyal customers not only increase your revenue, they also bring you new customers.
  • Vendor Relationships: Sometimes vendor relationships are even more critical than customer relationships. A stable supply, a solid support, a better deal from vendors all help you stand out from your competitors. Trust and reliability are important, if the relationship is poor it can affect your business.
  • Employee Loyalty:  Your employees represent you, your promise. So taking care of your employees means taking care of your business. Encourage your employees to explore more efficient approaches to their tasks; learn to authorize and delegate; reward outstanding employees. If you take good care of your employees, they will take good care of you and your customers. It's not only an advertising slogan it's the truth.
3.     Be Ready to Solve Problems
  • Help Solve Problems: Your customers come to you because you offer a solution to their problem. Leveraging your knowledge or techniques to solve their problem, no matter whether they are your existing customers or not yet, this is an inexpensive and proven way to show your ability to serve and build a reputation. 
  • Offer a free workshop or seminar: Offering free education to your customers or prospects is another way to build a good reputation for your business and enlarge your customer data base. You can either do it physically or do it online. There are many free webinars being offered on many subjects.
4.     Give Back To Your Community
  • Support Community Events: Sponsoring, volunteering at local events is a great way for small businesses to connect with the community and potential customers and build loyalty. Giving back helps small business get positive publicity, especially in this digital world, good word of mouth can be shared wildly through social media, but so can bad.
  • Give To Charity: Supporting a charity or cause that relates in some way to your business or values will make an impression on your customers. This also boost your company's morale by bringing employees together to support something that is separate from the office.
5.     Networking

As an entrepreneur, networking is a key activity for small business owners to form relationships with others, to help expand their business and find new customers, partner and grow. Join your BIA committees, networking and educational or social events. Join the local chamber of commerce, also a great way to build your network. It's an inexpensive way to meet other business owners in your community, get exposure, and learn the business trends and market changes of your industry and customer segments.

Thanks for your reading, we hope you find these tips helpful. If you need help finding suppliers who can assist with any services, we are happy to provide referrals, many to fine BIA members in our community. We appreciate any feedback from you about future topics and content you would like to hear about. Talk soon. 

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