The Downtown Vernon Association will spend the remainder of 2020 promoting downtown businesses navigating the uncharted waters the novel coronavirus has presented.
“The DVA wants to remind everyone that our downtown community remains inviting, friendly and respectful and that our businesses are safe, open, ready and grateful to be considered the heart of this incredibly supportive city,” executive director Susan Lehman said.
“Our downtown businesses have demonstrated resiliency, creativity, ingenuity, collaboration and the ability to quickly adapt to impacts beyond their control,” she said. “The DVA cannot express enough gratitude for those businesses and their employees that were able to remain safely open during the uncertain days of the COVID-19 crisis.”
On the heels of a busy 2019, with record-breaking public attendance at more than DVA-hosted events, the organization continues to encourage people to visit and enjoy downtown Vernon.
Following the annual general meeting, held May 27, the DVA announced Tegan Carruthers of BDO Canada and Keelan Murtagh of SQM Group have been re-elected for their second term on the board.
“I am pleased to welcome a new director this year,” interim chair Shanna Rowney said. “James Fradley of the Med.”
“On behalf of the board, I sincerely thank outgoing volunteer directors including Umang Patel, Alysia Lor-Knill, Selena Stearns and Andrew Fradley,” she said. “Their time and efforts are very much appreciated by the DVA board, staff and our members.”
Among last year’s successes, the DVA replaced all street banners along Highway 97 and 30th Avenue; a successful pilot program with the City of Vernon improved bicycle infrastructure in the downtown core; 37 new businesses were welcomed to the BIAs; a popular social media campaign, #downtownproud, was launched and hundreds of signs — assisting property owners and law enforcement regarding trespassing among other initiatives — were distributed.