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  • Writer's pictureOEV BIA

A 2020 Construction Dollars program wrap up!

The first ever Construction Dollars program wrapped up on Dec. 31, 2020.

So many winners at the Construction Dollars Cash Mob on Nov. 21, 2020! Photo by City of London

This program, first outlined in the Core Area Action Plan, was intended to encourage increased shopping and foot traffic in London’s core areas impacted by major construction. Having launched in August of 2020 (originally slated for April but due to COVID-19 restrictions, was delayed), provided businesses in both Old East Village and Downtown with further opportunities to engage customers and sell their goods and services.

One of the many ways to enjoy OEV businesses and spend Construction Dollars! Photo by City of London

In OEV, there were 39 participating businesses, many of which organized their own promotions to distribute Construction Dollars while accepting them from customers on a daily basis. These participants included a wide variety of food and drink entities, retail establishments, and service based businesses that gave residents and visitors the opportunity to explore the eclectic array of offerings present in OEV.

“I knew it'd be a great program, especially to support local businesses like mine, that were impacted by the construction. It encouraged people to support small businesses during this uncertain time. I am so thankful to the City of London and OEV BIA [for] this great program that supports us, and I hope we will have the program again this year! I sincerely appreciate your support for all the small businesses in OEV." - Bella Rivard, Bella's Acacia Catering

In addition to business distribution, there were several contests held through the #DIGOEV social media platforms between September and December 2020. In some cases, these contests awarded followers with physical Construction Dollars while others provided goods or gift cards purchased with Construction Dollars at participating businesses.

Shop to Win 2020 program poster.

As well, the Shop to Win program - which the OEV BIA has run for eight years - took place from November to December and gave two lucky winners $500 in Construction Dollars to encourage holiday shopping in OEV. With thanks to enthusiastic communication from the winners, we learned that these prizes were spent in full at such businesses as The Hungary Butcher, 10Eighteen Cafe, McHardy Vacuum, and Strings Cafe and Guitar Shop.

“We loved the Construction Dollars program! We can’t wait for the next one in 2021!” - Janet Owusu, Steda Tropical Foods Ltd.

In an effort to get the initial and continued word out about this program, we worked with local personalities who created some fantastic content to promote the program as well as the neighbourhood generally. You can check out some of the photos, videos, and articles created by Melissa Mohr of Mohr Living Mama, Margherita Ibbott of Downshifting Pro, Marianne Griffith, and Sara Mai Chitty through their social media platforms, namely Instagram. Working with these creative individuals allowed for increased reach for the program as well as for the number of businesses featured through access to audiences numbers well over 15,000 people!

“It was a good program and I appreciated it to help us get through construction. We were able to help our customers make their purchases through promotions and we’re excited to be part of it in 2021.” - Phil Kikuchi, Strings Cafe and Guitar Shop

Once the Construction Dollars program came to a close, all of the final redemptions took place, and final numbers were tallied, this program injected more than $30,000 into the Old East Village business corridor during a time when it was needed so much. This simply could not have been done without the dedication of participating businesses, the creativity of the local social personalities, the willingness of the public to embrace this new program, and funding from the City of London to make this happen.

Making Construction Dollar purchases at Old East Exchange with Sara Mai!

The Construction Dollars program provided increased financial opportunities for local businesses during the first stage of Dundas construction while navigating the changing tides of COVID-19 restrictions. For these reasons, we can’t say it enough, thank you! Thank you to every single business and individual who made this happen and we cannot wait to share further information on the 2021 Construction Dollars program that will commence this Spring!

Be sure to check out our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest updates on the 2021 Construction Dollars program and all things OEV!


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