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How can SPR attract more diverse businesses other than pawn shops?

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This spring, Stony Plain Road Business Association started developing a Business Recruitment and Retention Plan to support keeping businesses within our BIA and to also recruit new businesses to our area. We are keenly aware that growth of businesses will increase customer attraction and traffic in our area and we believe this to be an important part of the work we need to do while we increase shared marketing and promotions to SPR. As an organization that has been around for about 15 years, we believe that this work is needed and essential to advocate SPR as an excellent area to build businesses and to increase positive interactions within this area. 

Your BIA is also doing work to better understand the mixture of different types of businesses and services in our area and how a strong mixture of different businesses that support and complement each other are. An old perception of SPR is that it is mainly filled with pawn and porn. You know that this isn’t true and that is an outdated perception of who and what we have to offer. As your business association we support all new business development because we believe that SPR has something for everyone, and this diversity and variety is a strength. We also know that part of the brand of SPR is the authenticity and the span of great businesses – many which have a long history and some are new in their mixture and approach. As a BIA, part of our role is to recruit and retain businesses, it is neither to gatekeep the types of businesses nor the land use functions; however we can work with our members to support best business practices. We do not support business activity that is predatory in its business practices nor activities that harm our communities.       

We are also strategically doing things that can also build our community of entrepreneurs and so that as businesses you become more acquainted with your neighbouring businesses and get to know your neighbours. This encourages more eyes on our streets and helps build an empowered community. We believe that a community of businesses who know each other also are more willing to support one another and work together for things that will make our community better and stronger. One of the results of this Business Recruitment and Retention Plan includes our section on the website that lists spaces for lease or purchase on our website – https://www.stonyplainroad.com/real-estate-listings/

SPR has been working towards creating more strategic approaches to supporting our current businesses (many have a long history within Jasper Place) and attracting new businesses within our area. We know that a successful and vibrant business area requires a great mix of diverse businesses. Building upon this we want to create a strong business mix to support SPR as a 15-minute area for so many residents in west and central Edmonton. We also acknowledge that building a strong MainStreet also means that businesses feel that they are an important part of our community. We are working with our members to improve the sense of connectedness and community within SPR.

This Business Retention and Recruitment strategy includes activation of street and place making to heighten the walkability and desire of people to come to SPR and not just drive through it. This includes new murals, public art, storefront activations, and other infrastructures to attract people to walk, visit and purchase things. This strategy is truly about making our businesses as successful as possible because when small and medium businesses prosper the community prospers. We need your participation and help to make this happen, which means from time to time we will reach out to you with surveys, questions, and calls to participate in shared marketing, contests, and profiles. We also hope that you will help where you are able.