As the city’s first full-time program coordinator for Terrace Downtown Improvement Area (TDIA), Danielle Beausoleil has taken it upon herself to meet businesses owners face-to-face.
“You would be surprised, even though people work really separately, we’re all working towards a common goal,” she said on April 12, just a week before she started her position. “[I’m] just trying to keep those lines of communication open, because we really do work better when we work as a team.”
Her role with TDIA is to facilitate communication between the city and businesses within the Business Improvement Area (BIA), giving them opportunities to grow and feel they have a representative voice. The TDIA is funded through a tax levy on businesses in the BIA.
“Whether they need someone to be a source of information, or whether they need someone to help promote their business on social media… It’s really important to me in this role to have an understanding of what the business partners actually want,” she said.
Beausoleil holds bachelors’ degrees in criminology, psychology and anthropology from Western University in London, Ontario, where in 2011 she also completed her masters in sustainability. She made a formal introduction to council during their May 28 meeting and spoke about the work she has done since moving to Terrace two months ago.
“It’s been a very large effort of mine to make the businesses in the new area… aware that there is a full-time program coordinator,” she said.
“Just making that face-time, talking to people, hearing about their problems, hearing about what their ideas and solutions are.. letting them feel like there is someone supporting them, which I feel in the past they haven’t really felt that support.”
Beausoleil has also been working on answering questions regarding the Facade Grant Program, made available to business owners in the beginning of May to submit by June 1. With the short timeline to apply, Saša Loggin, chair of the board of directors for TDIA, said Beausoleil will be on hand to provide more information on how to fill out and submit applications for a share of the $20,000 grant after the deadline.
Now Beausoleil said she’s focussed on moving forward by creating events to open up communication lines and drive traffic to downtown businesses, which included a block party at Lazelle Plaza held Saturday, June 2.
“I like to make a difference in people’s lives and when you’re in a small town, you have those opportunities,” she said.
One of the main focuses of the block party was to raise funds for animal shelters in Terrace and Kitimat with a dog show, barbecue and dunk tank. There was also a physics fair, trade show and farmer’s market vendors, tea parties, kids events, and two live local bands.