Why does our Downtown matter?
A vibrant and sustainable downtown matters to the overall health of any community and it matters to me. Not just because I am the Executive Director for Downtown Prince George, but because a healthy downtown should matter to everyone in Prince George. So what is the magic formula for making a downtown more vibrant and active? Obviously, it’s never just one thing. But, in Prince George, we already have one of the key ingredients and that is our very committed, passionate and invested business owners, located right in our very own downtown. I also believe that it is up to all of us to build the prosperity of our downtown by supporting our existing and establishing downtown businesses. Our downtown business owners are making a major contribution to the bottom line of our city. Prince George is no different than most urban centres in the country, where our downtowns really serve as the engine for our local economy. In 2017 there were 297 properties valued at $220,000,000 supporting close to 500 businesses within the 41 blocks that make up our official downtown. Over the next several years that value is going to grow significantly with both private and public investment.
Who is Downtown Prince George?
Downtown Prince George as an organization has functioned as a Business Improvement Area since 1999 and currently serves all property owners and business tenants in the C1 Downtown zone. Our mandate is to promote and advocate for a better downtown through partnerships, programs, promotions and events. We are the downtown champions striving to build a healthy and thriving urban centre for Prince George. We have 13 passionate business persons sitting on our board providing knowledge, commitment and expertise to create a positive culture of safety, vibrancy and beauty in our downtown. Our board members include representatives from independent business; professional service providers; large and small financial institutions; entertainment establishments and non-profit agencies. They all work, invest and spend their time in downtown Prince George. Rounding out this group we are joined by representatives from the City of Prince George, the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Prince George. As board members, they know the importance of our local marketplace and how supporting our downtown businesses build our distinctive character and grows a more vibrant downtown.
What can you find Downtown?
Come downtown and you will find a minimum of:
- 35 eating establishments
- 90 retail and specialty stores
- 45 financial services providers
- 48 law firms
- 25 non-profit organizations
- 65 healthcare and wellness providers
And there are over 150 other businesses that are offering everything from consulting to communications to childcare. Our downtown is also home to government offices, places of worship, union offices, elected representatives and social services. All these businesses are what makes our downtown its own major profit centre and represents the heart and soul of our city. We should appreciate and applaud them all for opening their businesses, their offices and their storefronts in our city and most especially in our downtown.
How can you support Downtown?
We must respect, appreciate, and support the people who have stepped forward to open businesses, who will step forward in the future, or who continue year after year to maintain and work to grow their businesses. We really do need to recognize and celebrate the unique but diverse products and services that our downtown merchants bring to our community. For every $100 spent locally, we can count on $48 staying in our community, as compared to just $14 shopping the big box or chain stores. Keeping our dollars circulating locally is key to the economic health of our community and our downtown. We hope you will follow along and become a part of the driving force that builds on the economic advantages of supporting our local business community in our downtown. Each and every one of our downtown businesses represents a fascinating journey and there are so many stories to share. We look forward to the resurgence of our downtown and inviting you all to Shop Downtown, Eat Downtown, Work Downtown, Visit Downtown, Play Downtown and Live Downtown.
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