Victoria Exploring Partnership With DVBA To Maintain Vitality Of Downtown Impacted By Vandalism
VICTORIA – In response to recent vandalism, the City of Victoria is exploring ways it can partner with the Downtown Victoria Business Association to maintain the vibrancy and vitality of downtown during the ongoing pandemic.
“Our small businesses, already hit hard economically and emotionally by the pandemic, are left with repair bills or insurance deductibles,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “We will be looking into what steps the City can take in partnership with the DVBA to support the vibrancy of downtown and address the impacts of vandalism.”
This is not the first time the City has worked with the DVBA to support their members. Last year, the City made a grant of $20,000 to the DVBA to help with graffiti removal, and the DVBA has administered My Great Neighbourhood grants on behalf of their members.
“The DVBA is very happy to work with the City to support our small businesses during these trying times, especially given the recent rash of vandalism and the ongoing challenges of the pandemic,” said DVBA Executive Director Jeff Bray.
This week, a man smashed the windows of 14 businesses in Victoria. In the past few weeks, downtown businesses have also been targeted by professional criminals who remove glass and then commit theft. VicPD has apprehended and held in custody the man who created the senseless act in the early morning of January 20 and will continue their work to apprehend the people committing the more targeted thefts.
“Businesses are already suffering. The last thing they need is to come in and find a broken window. While we may not be able to provide much financial relief, this unanimous decision by Council to partner with the DVBA is a show of support,” added Mayor Helps.
City staff will work with the DVBA and will report back to Council in the coming weeks.