Cloverdale BIA surveys membership

Blueberry festival, Santa parade under review as the association asks businesses and property owners to help prioritize projects.

The famous hanging baskets along 176 Street are a colour example of the Cloverdale BIA's beautification projects.

The Cloverdale Business Improvement Association is asking members to complete a survey that will help determine the association’s direction as it creates a new, five-year strategic plan.

Once complete, the plan will also help with financial planning, members were told last week.

“The purpose of the survey is to determine the areas of importance for both the property owners and business owners in the Cloverdale town centre BIA area,” executive director Paul Orazietti said.

The association is planning to post a modified version of the survey on its website for the general public, Orazietti added.

Among the items being reviewed are special events like the annual Blueberry Festival, which was put on hiatus this summer, and the Santa Parade.

In early April, the association voted to postpone two signature events this year due to budget constraints – the Cloverdale Blueberry Festival and the Halloween Costume parade, two popular events that draw huge crowds to the historic town centre.

Soaring operational costs and lack of sponsorships were a main reason cited at the Cloverdale BIA’s Annual General Meeting, where the cancellation of the two events was called a one-time correction.

The April 6 AGM was called to approve a revised 2015 budget, and hold a re-election of officers.

The City of Surrey had deemed there was insufficient detail provided to the association’s membership on this year’s budget, as presented July 9, 2014.

The revised budget allocates more resources towards beautification projects – such as gateway signage at Highway 15 and Highway 10, and attracting new businesses.

The newly-announced membership survey asks respondents to rate how important parades and festivals are to their business when it comes to engaging the community.

The online survey also asks members to rate the relative importance of BIA initiatives in terms of priority, assigning “least important to top priority” to such varied activities as beautification, economic development, communications, crime and safety, along with special events like the Blueberry Festival, Market Days – an ongoing monthly summer initiative – the December Santa Parade and more.

A follow-up question asks how important each beautification project is, from hanging baskets along 176 Street and promised gateway signage at the Highway 15/10 intersection, to landscaping, public art and historic street signs.

The survey asks respondents to rank public events in terms of importance, from Rodeo Days activities (Bed Races, Chili Cook-off, and the Rodeo parade) to the Blueberry Festival, Market Days, Halloween Costume Parade, Santa Parade and Christmas shopping spree.

The survey also asks what members think the Cloverdale BIA should concentrate on to improve the local economy, whether it’s adding more retail and boutique stores, more grocery stores, attracting new residents to the historic town centre, or adding parking and more service-oriented businesses.

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