The Church Wellesley Village BIA is teaming up with the 519 Church Street Community Centre to share staff and resources.
Co-chair Liz Devine says the move will save the BIA money. “We spend all this money on our basic infrastructure. What can we do to reduce our costs and increase the value of what we can bring to our business members and our community members?”
Matthew Cutler, director of development and community engagement at The 519, says the BIA will have a permanent office at the community centre to save on wireless internet costs and will have access to staff and resources at The 519.
“Businesses play such a dominant role in the direction of the neighbourhood that being able to come to the table as citizens and businesses to work together is going to be really valuable,” he says. “Hopefully, we can move away from the apathy in the Village to a place where people feel excitement and they play a role in that space.
“We have unique brands that will remain separate. There will be effort to ensure The 519 remains The 519 and the BIA remains the BIA,” he says. “We don’t have to agree on everything. We can coach each other and support each other’s work.”
Cutler says the business community is part of the spectrum of activism in the Village. “Owning a gay business is activism. And it is contributing in the same way as someone holding a placard or working for a community agency.”