About Business Fredericton North Inc.
Business Fredericton North Inc.
The mission statement of the association reflects its purpose and all activities and objectives will contribute directly to the accomplishment of the mission:
Business Fredericton North promotes an environment that encourages growth and profitability in its member businesses. It does so by combining the will of its member businesses to grow and prosper with the will of the citizenry to realize a more positive environment in the Fredericton North business district. The Association will promote the same for any members of the expanded business district.
II. Key Result Areas
The Association maintains five (5) key result areas when planning its activities. The areas incorporate objectives and priorities that directly relate to the mission including:
• Economic Development – Positioning the Business District as a positive business environment by attracting new businesses to the area and assisting existing businesses to grow
• Design & Function – enhancing the physical attractiveness, effectiveness, and functionality of the Business District including vehicular and pedestrian traffic, public safety, streetscape design, signage, planning and other attributes.
• Organization and Communication – providing a forum for member businesses to communicate with one another, governments and the business community at large; providing an effective framework through which members can gain benefits from their collective association.
• Promotion – Marketing the Business District to new and existing consumer markets as a positive place in which to do business, shop and be entertained.
• Transportation – To work with the City of Fredericton in providing a city transit service to provide a more user friendly route through the Business District of the Northside to meet the demands of the business community as well as the residents.
III. Economic Development Objectives
The highest priority for the association is in the area of Economic Development. With the challenges of the global economy BFN needs to focus on maintaining and creating a positive business environment within the BIA. High traffic counts, affordable rents and available properties for development make the BIA prime for attracting businesses and developers.
Main Street, in particular, is strongly positioned to be the major shopping destination in Fredericton North, however there is a long way to go considering it has yet to be seen as a clear first choice for any business sector throughout the Greater Fredericton area.
Tenant Mix/Recruitment - Recognizing that the single most important issue for consumers when deciding where to go shopping or be entertained is the mix of tenants, products and services available. To this end the association will actively:
• Work to expand municipal and provincial presence in the Business Improvement Area (due to limited available office space, office building development should be encouraged on the Northside of Fredericton rather than only in the Downtown).
• Solicit specific, strategically needed business sectors to locate in the Business District, by recruiting strategic anchors and more unique shops/services to the District and maintain an inventory/resource of businesses, products and services which are lacking throughout the Business District and Fredericton North. Compile this resource by conducting an annual consumer survey at random locations to ask consumers what they believe is missing in the business district and then make this list available to potential entrepreneurs interested in opening in Fredericton North.
• Solicit existing Fredericton area businesses to establish a second location within the Business District.
• Encourage member businesses to grow by expansion.
• Maintain a current listing of available space and respond to inquiries for space by providing information on specific properties, including contact information for managers of available space and the commercial particulars on the space including square footage, available parking, and classification and possibly range of rent. This information should also be available and promoted on our website.
Real Estate Development – The Association will promote new developments in the Business District to potential developers and develop and maintain a working relationship with the real estate industry.
• To facilitate a Northside Economic Development Group using the Association as the facilitator of the group on a ‘needs’ basis as issues may arise.
• Work with groups as appropriate to secure the development of the Canadian Tire Property on Main Street.
Liaison – The Association recognizes that other significant commercial/business opportunities have developed and in order to initiate a cooperative effort to see the Northside grow and develop the Association will:
• Undertake to meet on a regular basis with adjacent and surrounding business groups.
IV. Design and Function Objectives
The Association will continue to focus efforts in the area of design and function. Efforts to improve traffic and pedestrian circulation are welcome from member businesses and the public.
It is increasingly important to work closely with the municipal government to continue to improve the physical and functional attractiveness of the Business District. The Business District, public areas and functions associated with them are in the hands of the City of Fredericton and ultimately it will be the City Council of the day who determines the implementation of the association’s agenda in the area.
The public’s perceptions are key in this area and it is known that they long for an improved atmosphere and functionality throughout the Business District.
A. Municipal Plan – The City of Fredericton uses secondary plans in conjunction with the municipal plan to set policy and direction for the future development and land use. In an effort to recognize the important role that the City plays in the overall development of the Business District, the Association will:
• Provide the City of Fredericton with a revised Main Street Secondary Plan, which will include recommendations from Business Fredericton North Inc.
• Work with the City of Fredericton to review the proposed secondary plan and monitor the zoning for the Main Street planning area by the end of 2011 and pursue its implementation. This would be related to variance and size of lots.
B. Recreation / Tourism - The exploitation of recreational and leisure activities and facilities throughout the Business District can attract immediate and future business. Recognizing that recreational and leisure facilities are very important assets of the business district, the Association will:
• Promote the use of the “Nashwaaksis Commons” as a focal point for cultural/entertainment/recreational/leisure activity.
• Continue efforts to develop walking trails (i.e. lighting, signage) in and through the Business District; with the highest priority being the installation of lighting along the trail system for recreational and safety.
• Encourage the use of existing recreation areas (ball fields, rink, and parks) within the Business District. Encourage the Province to redevelop land which was previously Nashwaaksis Arena by the end of 2011. To monitor any new recreation facilities being planned or opened.
• Lobby the City of Fredericton for enhancements to Northside River Front, in particular Carleton Park. Business Fredericton North to work with the City towards enhancements to Carleton Park which would include washrooms, water, paving, and picnic tables by 2012.
C. Streetscape – A positive streetscape promotes a positive feeling in the Business District. Promoting a beautified and comfortable environment goes far to develop a sense of belonging and ease. In an attempt to improve and enhance the streetscape, the association will:
• Create a new streetscape plan for 2010 – 2015 that BFN can use to focus investments in beautification.
• Develop and implement a strategy to install decorative street lighting and/or banners. Initiate discussions with NB Power and the City of Fredericton to discuss the opportunity of the lighting of the trails by the end of 2012.
• Use the existing stock of benches, flower planters, and trash receptacles; and build on this base of street furnishing to extend their use throughout the district.
• Purchase furnishings, signage and amenities which contribute to the overall attractiveness of the district.
• Encourage visual improvements on privately owned property including façade improvements to store fronts and backs. Internal promotion may encourage smaller scale beautification such as plantings. To work with the business owners who are affected by graffiti with an effort being placed on eliminating the number of occurrences. Continue to promote BFN Façade grants for property upgrades for members and highlight properties that utilize BFN Façade Grants in promotional materials.
• Continue to work with the City to monitor derelict properties located with the BIA and take action on their removal when appropriate.
• Pursue the removal of the hydro poles throughout the district and installing a new line along the trail to service buildings from the rear. This will eliminate service line crossings and will greatly improve the streetscape along Main Street.
• Maintain a policy of encouraging “greening” projects.
V. Organizational and Communication Objectives
Members are generally very satisfied with the Association and its activities. When the Association speaks, the members listen. Its partners and the public generally see the Association in a very good light. We want to clearly and effectively keep the communication lines good and open.
The Association is however constrained by the availability of resources and every effort must be made to make the best use of the limited staff and dollars available. The Business Improvement Area (BIA) system is in the hands of the Province of New Brunswick and every effort must be made to protect and enhance the system through strong provincial affiliations.
Funding – In order to keep the organization focused on its priorities and to maintain its sustainability, the Association will continue to base Association activities on available funding through BIA levies, related business activities and available grants from government agencies/departments. The Association should also continue fundraising activities such as the BFN Golf Tournament and explore additional revenue generation opportunities. We need to continue to explore all avenues of any available funding.
Communications - In an ongoing effort to have the support of stakeholders and citizenry the association will promote effective communication of Association activities and objectives with member business, various levels of governments and the public by:
• Continue our efforts to use a more effective method of technology (Internet, etc) to communicate to members, partners and the public. BFN should also implement a quarterly hard copy publication that will be sent to all members in order to keep in touch with those members who do not communicate effectively by e-mail.
• Communicate as much as possible via fax and email in order to reduce costs and fulfill our goal of using a more effective means of communication. For those members who are not yet connected to the internet we will provide them access at the Association office.
• Investigate the opportunity of an Association discount for the purchase of a fax machine or a computer by semi annual meeting 2010.
Promote Member Involvement – Member involvement is key to accessing resources and attaining its mission. The Association will stage events and other forums for members to communicate with the Association and one another through the development of a social committee to promote member involvement using direct contact by Board Committee and members. This will include the Social/Welcome committee contacting the new business member to welcome them to our business district and a personal invitation to be escorted to the event for the first time. This should also include a welcome kit which will explain what the BFN does, how we are funded and the current activities we are involved in. The welcome kit’s material will vary based on BFN activity.
Planning - Undertake carefully planned activities that are in keeping with the strategic plan as adopted by the membership.
VI. Promotional Objectives
The Business District has very strong market share in many sectors including grocery, automotive, hardware, and fast food, health and convenience areas. Convenience continues to be a major strength with its close proximity to residential and commercial developments when combined with the anticipated development activity for the future.
The Business Districts weaknesses lie in its limited market share as an expanded neighbourhood, regional shopping and entertainment destination.
Members are anxious to participate in any cooperative efforts to help their individual businesses while at the same time developing the Business District’s image and draw as a regional destination. Given the expensive nature of promotion, Association dollars must be leveraged to achieve the best result.
Markets – Developing markets for member businesses is central to the overall development of the membership base. The association will:
• Work to develop the geographic markets which show potential and interest from member businesses. These markets may vary in proximity to the Business District and include smaller communities adjacent to Fredericton as well as the Greater Fredericton area and beyond.
• Focus on creative cooperative advertising opportunities and other cross promotional options that leverage the marketing resources of member businesses against the Association’s promotion budget.
• Develop the Business District as a venue for annual and special events and incorporate business promotion into such events.
• Develop BFN Dollar promotions bi-annually that promotes buy local.
• Revisit existing networking functions to best suit members’ needs and availability.
The Association will work with the City of Fredericton/City Transit to promote a user friendly public transit service for the Business District and Fredericton North to meet the demands of users by:
• Providing the Northside of the river with an established Northside hub.
• Dedicate a “Northside route” and transfer system, which would eliminate the necessity of the users having to cross the river, thus taking users away from the Business District. Currently users wanted to travel from one end of the Northside to the other must make the trip to Kings Place to transfer to another bus to bring them back across the river to get to where they are going. (i.e. A rider traveling from Devon to Main Street has to go to Kings Place to transfer buses in order to get to their final destination, Main Street.)