Updated June 7, 2021

On May 26, 2021 Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan was announced. Detailed information including stages of reopening and business restrictions can be reviewed on the Government of Alberta website:

The Old Strathcona Business Association’s Economic Recovery Task Force identified that many of our businesses were leading the charge on best practices for COVID-19 safety. We have created COVID-19 Business Safety Guidelines to share and reference some tips to help our neighbours refine current business operations and build upon existing COVID-19 policies!


Business Resources  

Business Improvement Area (BIA) Information

We are the Old Strathcona Business Association, the Business Improvement Area (BIA) for this district. The City of Edmonton defines BIAs as: 

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a specific geographic area of the city in which businesses pool resources and work together, through a formal association, to enhance the economic development of their area.

The point is to help create vibrant economies across the City of Edmonton, and we do so by working with you (and more than 600 of your new neighbours) to remove barriers and create opportunities for businesses such as yours to succeed. All the businesses in this area contribute a levy which we allocate to pursue numerous initiatives to influence and improve the environment our businesses operate in. The OSBA is guided by a Board of Directors – made up of business owners like you! 

Grants & Programs

  • Storefront Improvement Area Grant is a matching reimbursement grant for large, impactful exterior renovations, up to 50% of project costs.
  • Storefront Refresh Grant a matching reimbursement grant for small exterior renovations, up to a maximum of $1000 per building.
  • Development Incentive Grant offers support of up to a maximum of $100,000 for constructing new commercial buildings, and support of up to a maximum of $200,000 for constructing new mixed-use developments.
  • Interior Development Grant is a matching reimbursement grant for interior renovations, up to 50% of project costs to a maximum of $20,000.
  • Professional Graffiti Cleaning Program offers up to $750 worth of professional graffiti cleaning assistance to property owners in Edmonton through Capital City Clean Up.

Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic we have worked to keep members informed of changing public health measures and relief programs. We encourage you to visit the City of Edmonton, Government of Alberta, and Government of Canada websites for the most up to date information on specific funding programs. While a number of programs have closed, others still remain available:

Looking for general business help?

  • The City of Edmonton’s Small Business team offers a One-On-One Support Program where staff can walk you through any business license or permitting requirements for your business
  • Need help with your small business? You’re not alone. With the YEG Business Recovery Program you will receive 1:1 support from a dedicated Business Link coach who will walk alongside you to navigate challenging business operations. This program is administered by Business Link; they also offer general support with experts available to consult by email, phone and live chat.
  • Making Edmonton Digital offers hands on assistance to create or improve your brand and marketing efforts with various digital tools (Google profile, social media, website, e-commerce, photography). *As of Sept 2021 they have currently reached program capacity, but stay tuned for phase 2!

One of our strategic goals is to improve the perception and reality of safety in the district. This is a complex issue and we work towards improved safety in part by maintaining a close relationship with relevant stakeholders. We look to partners like the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team (NET), Edmonton Police Service (EPS), other non-profits like Mustard Seed and Boyle Street, as well as businesses for their guidance and first hand experience so that we can take appropriate action when needed. Improving safety can look like: advocacy, lighting or cleaning projects, crosswalk upgrades, public art, educational events and more.

It’s a good idea to know who the EPS officers are that work on your block. If you’re not sure please reach out to our Membership & Marketing Coordinator to find out. These resources are great to have bookmarked on work computers or printed, for easy access to all staff on site at your business:

Our Economic Recovery Task Force identified that many of our businesses were leading the charge on best practices for COVID-19 safety. We put together some of those examples so that we could share with members and help our neighbours refine current business operations and build upon existing public health policies (please note that this was published in the fall of 2020, any new/current public health measures should be considered as part of your daily safety operations):

Within our business district, we are home to one of only 2 designated Provincial Historic Areas in Alberta! Properties located within the Historical Commercial DC1 Boundary, as shown in the below map, are subject to Old Strathcona’s Sign Guidelines. Properties outside of this designated boundary are regulated by the City of Edmonton’s zoning bylaw (section 59) however consideration of the guidelines is encouraged throughout the entire district.