Welcome to the neighbourhood, and welcome to the family! Old Strathcona has been an iconic part of the Edmonton landscape for many years, and we are so excited that you have joined us to become a part of the ongoing story of the area.
New member? Download our full welcome package to get to know us a little more!*
We want to see you be successful, both as a part of this community, and as an authentic voice that has something unique to offer. And we’re here to help.
Make sure you’re signed up to receive our member newsletter for updates on our latest projects, upcoming events, news, opportunities, and the occasional survey so that we’re better prepared to help with your current priorities in real time. Just let us know you would like to subscribe below!
We typically host two general meetings every year. These are important member events that give us an opportunity to connect and share progress on current and upcoming projects.
The Spring General Meeting (SGM) is usually in May, where we review the Annual Report from the previous year and our team speaks to upcoming projects. The Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in October, requires members to vote on the proposed budget for the upcoming year and vote in new or returning members to the Board of Directors.
Participation and engagement from business members is highly encouraged so that we can continue to provide the necessary programs and supports that directly benefit our membership!
We do our best to keep a curated list of resources here for you to reference at any time. You will find useful links that explore general BIA information, tax questions, sign guidelines and more.
As a member of the OSBA, you have access to a number of specific grants administered by the City of Edmonton. Beautification is a big part of what we do, and is accomplished through various flower, art, lighting and cleaning projects.
We count on property and business owners to take care of their storefronts and with the help of these grants you can do things like: upgrade windows, add awnings or canopies, install new accessibility features, install new patios, benches, bike racks & much more!
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 and resources 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. Business Link has a dedicated team offering general marketing, operations, and even legal support with experts available to consult by email, phone and live chat.
- The Digital Economy Program 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).
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:
- Business Safety Matters
- Safer Business Spaces
- Encouraging Positive Interactions
- Overdose Prevention Information
- Each + Every Businesses for Harm Reduction
- Mustard Seed Street Team
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.
STAY IN TOUCH
We’re here for you.
Don’t forget to sign up for the member newsletter using the link at the top of this page. You are also invited to join our private Facebook Group for business owners and operators. This group is a place for you to connect directly with fellow operators to ask questions, offer support, or just to meet your neighbours!
If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to meet the team behind the scenes, give us a call at 780-437-4182 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.