In a big day for the Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Association, the organization took home two awards at the recent Ontario Business Improvement Areas Association ceremony.
The local group secured the Economic Development Award for their Zero Vacancy/Meanwhile Spaces program, and former board chair Jeff MacIntyre was presented with the Jan Hawley Pinnacle Award for his contributions to both Downtown Sudbury and the provincial association.
MacIntyre was chair of the BIA for eight years and has worked with the provincial organization for three years.
Kendra MacIsaac, current co-chair of Downtown Sudbury, said she was proud of her predecessor.
“Jeff’s put a lot of time and effort into the downtown, well beyond what the public has seen. Several programs we are currently running, including the Zero Vacancy program, were brought to us through Jeff’s knowledge of, and passion for, downtown organizations from around the world,” MacIsaac said in a media release.
“I should also mention our Downtown Clean-Up program. We’re really proud of it, and Jeff brought that idea to us from Vancouver. He’s a longtime champion and asset to our community.”
The Zero Vacancy/Meanwhile Spaces program encouraged landlords to rent out spaces at cost to startups during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program resulted in the likes of Kulta Vintage and Ravens Rising Chocolatiers setting up shop.
“They are adding new vibrancy to the area, and helping us drive traffic back downtown,” BIA managing director Kyle Marcus said in a media release.
MacIntyre was caught off guard in receiving the award, according to the media release.
“I had no clue this was coming, but I feel this is the kind of thing you get for surrounding yourself with great people,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve worked with over the years, both locally and at OBIAA. I hear about good ideas and I find great people to help make them real. It’s always a team effort when you receive this kind of honour and recognition.”
Marcus nominated MacIntyre for the award, which he said was an easy application to write.
“Jeff’s ability to connect the dots is bringing a new level of innovation to Mainstreet management of BIAs,” he said in a media release. “Jeff is helping OBIAA to develop a new membership management platform which will provide BIAs (mainstreets and communities) the data they need to make better decisions about their communities and their economic development.”
MacIntyre was also credited with volunteering his time to lay out the provincial organization’s BIA Homelessness Toolkit, the 2022 OBIAA Election Toolkit and other efforts.