Morrisburg DBIA looks forward for 2022

·2 min read

MORRISBURG – Many businesses faced economic downturn and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic also affected local business organizations including the Morrisburg Downtown Business Improvement Area. Now with businesses reopened and pandemic-related restrictions lessened, the organization is looking at it’s next steps.

The Morrisburg DBIA held a meeting with stakeholders including South Dundas council and administration October 27 to discuss the future for the business organization.

Business Improvement Areas are a special zone where a levy on commercial property taxes – in this case in the Morrisburg Village Plaza – is collected and used to support businesses in that zone. Some area businesses along County Road 2 are associate members and pay a membership fee in lieu of the tax levy.

South Dundas Economic Development Officer Rob Hunter explained that BIAs can have different roles and functions. Smaller BIAs focus more on beautification, signage, marketing, and special events to draw people to the shopping zone.

Hunter suggested some options the DBIA could work on in the near-term is updating some signage or beautification work to tie into the new street-scape project.

DBIA chair Sam Laurin led a round table discussion with the stakeholders on what direction they wanted to see the organization go.

“We don’t have a coordinator,” said Victoria Windle, who owns Morrisburg Physiotherapy. “We have a board of business people who are incredibly busy and are okay to volunteer, to meet, to make decisions and give direction, but don’t have time to do the legwork. That’s the problem, we need some new blood and we need a coordinator.”

Lawyer Doug Grenkie said that he wanted to see the organization continue and that hiring a new coordinator should be a priority.

Laurin said that new blood is needed on the seven member board of directors first.

“There are three members that would like to step down, but maybe with some new faces at the table, some would stay on,” he said.

Barber Bo Gale said he also supported keeping the organization going, especially with the improvements going on.

“We need [the BIA]. There are some things that are needed to do,” he said. “With the new roundabout, our township is doing a lot. Kudos to council. It’s good stuff, let’s move forward.”

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds said that he saw the DBIA having a very important role in Morrisburg, especially once construction is complete of the roundabout and street-scape project currently underway.

“Credit to the board for keeping the BIA together during the pandemic,” Byvelds said. “It’s nice to have this with the street-scape. There is good stuff here to start with.”

The consensus from the meeting was to move forward with keeping the DBIA organization going, with the first step recruiting some new members for the board.

Laurin is editor and publisher of The Leader.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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