St. Catharines business owner accuses downtown BIA of being MIA

CKTB - NEWS - Open

Some St. Catharines downtown business owners are accusing the BIA of being MIA as they worry about what the future will bring.

Craft Arts Market owner Sarah Jarvis says there has been a lack of communication as owners worry about another possible COVID-19 shutdown.

"We've asked for their strategy, we've asked for a marketing plan. They don't have one. What we're asking for is, what do you have in mind if this happens again? What are you learning? What are you planning for? How are you helping us?"

Jarvis says when owners have reached out via email they are told members of the BIA are on vacation.

Although restaurants have seen some benefits from the weekend closures of St. Paul Street, Jarvis says her business is experiencing the opposite effect.

"For me, if someone wants to come and get a coffee from my establishment are they going to park two blocks away, walk over and get a coffee, and then walk back to their car? No. A lot of us - it's a deterrent in that way because - I've heard it. I've heard people say, 'I won't come downtown on the weekend now because it's too much of a hassle.'"

Jarvis says some of the issues surrounding marketing and strategic planning pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to listen to Jarvis' full interview with Matt Holmes.