The Special Enterprise Program (SEP), approved by Council in January 2021, is a five year pilot that aims to preserve and strengthen the cultural diversity, long-term viability, and economic opportunity of heritage businesses, social enterprises, and non-profit organizations in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside.
The purpose of this program
- Attract and prevent the displacement of heritage and community-serving businesses, cultural organizations, non-profit organizations, and social enterprises in the Downtown Eastside
- Enhance the capacity of the small business sector to adapt to the current business environment and improve operations
- Assist property owners (non-profit or for-profit with a social purpose) in activating their vacant spaces with businesses or other activities that align with permitted uses, current policies, and respond to community needs.
Key program outcomes
We are working with community partners and a staff technical team (led by the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Planning group) to implement the three strategic components with the assistance of community partners (“implementers”):
|Capacity building||Vancouver Chinatown Foundation||Provision of supports to build the resilience and capacity of small businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises in Chinatown.|
|Affordable spaces||Community Impact Real Estate Society||Activation of vacant and under-utilized spaces in the Downtown Eastside and Oppenheimer District to support small community-serving activities, cultural organizations, non-profits, and social enterprises.|
|Community-serving business in Chinese Benevolent Society buildings||Strathcona Business Improvement Association||Curation and tenanting of affordable spaces to enable community-serving retail in Chinese Society buildings.|
September 22, 2021
Contact a planner
Do you have questions about this program? Send us an email: