by Deron Johnston, Executive Director, KBIA
Despite the frigid temperatures and excessive snowfall this winter, the members of the Old Town Kemptville Business Improvement Area (OTK BIA) have been busy as bees in summertime. During the “slower” months at the beginning of the year is when many organizations create their budgets, do their yearly planning, and make other preparations for the coming year. The OTK BIA is no exception, as the Board of Management is deep into working on the business plan for 2019.
One of the most exciting things that we’ve been up to is that we applied for a Digital Service Squad (DSS) Grant, and were successful! The DSS is a program funded by the Province of Ontario, in partnership with the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA), which is the governing body for all BIAs in Ontario. The idea was to create a program that would allow BIAs to build a DSS team which would then go around and provide one-on-one help to the individual members of the BIA. The help would be in the form of advice and recommendations as to how the member can improve their digital (online) presence in their marketplace. Watch for more news coming very soon, as we’ll be looking to hire locally to fill out our DSS team.
Something else that we’re very excited about is that the OTK BIA has entered into a partnership agreement with the upcoming Rural Summit, which is taking place at the Kemptville Campus on April 12 and 13. The BIA will be providing in-kind sponsorship for the event in the form of the paid time of the BIA’s Executive Director, Deron Johnston. This will allow him to provide extra help to the Organizing Committee of the Rural Summit. The BIA believes that this is a very productive partnership, as the Summit will bring hundreds of people to the Downtown area and, through a special marketing initiative with the Rural Summit, the BIA hopes to encourage Summit attendees to visit the Downtown area to take advantage of a variety of special offers and discounts that will be made available exclusively to them.
Speaking of events, the Events Committee has also been very busy lately, as they are in full planning mode to get ready for the annual Easter Bunny Trail. Similar to last year’s family-friendly event that brought hundreds of people to Downtown, this year’s event will surely be a hit with kids of all ages. Watch for a media release providing all of the details for this fun gathering. Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, keep Saturday April 13, from 10:30am to 1:30pm, open on your calendars. We’re going to be rolling out some egg-citing activities that day! Every-bunny is welcome!