ED brings new energy to Old St. Vital BIZ


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/07/2021 (682 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Old St. Vital Business Improvement Zone executive director Regina Teplitsky is eager for pandemic restrictions to end so she can organize some fun events designed to highlight local businesses.

Teplitsky recently assumed the executive director position with the organization first formed in 1996. Old St. Vital BIZ represents approximately 150 business owners/members in the area running from Carriere Avenue down St. Mary’s Road to Hull Avenue, and to Niakwa Road in the east.

I asked her to answer a few questions as a way of introducing herself to Lance readers.

Supplied photo
Regina Teplitsky is new executive director of the Old St. Vital Business Improvement Zone.
Supplied photo Regina Teplitsky is new executive director of the Old St. Vital Business Improvement Zone.

• What do you hope to accomplish as the Old St. Vital Biz Association’s new ED?

In my new role as executive director of the Old St. Vital BIZ (OSVB), I will continue supporting the OSVB board of directors to fulfill its vision and mission and provide ongoing support to the business members.  Our primary goal is to position the Old St. Vital as a welcoming, well-maintained and safe destination for businesses and visitors.

My goal is to educate the businesses about the existing programs, resources and grants that are available through government initiatives and the BIZ. These resources are even more significant during these unprecedented times, as many businesses attempt to overcome their financial fragility and hope to “bounce back” from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

We look for opportunities to enhance the visibility of the local businesses by improving the functionality of our website and business directory, by featuring them on our social media platforms and by increasing their online presence.

In addition to our summer and winter beautification projects, we wish to add special events, entertainment, public wellness and fun activities to the zone.

I would also add meaningful engagement with our community members and maintaining a dynamic and diverse community to my bucket list.

We believe in a collaborative approach in addressing arising challenges. OSVB’s major focus is on partnership development with our businesses and partner agencies, to advocate for their needs and to celebrate our successes together.

• What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges facing local business owners in St. Vital?

One of the biggest challenges that local businesses are facing is COVID-19-related impacts and economic instability.

In 2020, Old St. Vital BIZ board members took action to support our members and keep our focus on economic development and community beautification.

 In the summer of 2020, we provided our member businesses with the cconomic recovery recognition grant by providing an immediate grant of $675 directly to each business in our zone. This totalled a return of $100,000 back to our members to assist them in meeting the demands of the pandemic.

In addition, we have reduced the bBusiness levy for our members by 0.75 per cent A review of our core functions and budget was done to reflect the priority of supporting the survival of our business community.

In response to concerns raised by local businesses and residents, The Old St. Vital BIZ President, Nancy Cooke has worked with the board to form a business and public safety sub-committee to address these issues.

 • How does the association help local business owners?

We create a pleasant and a well-maintained environment for customers and staff of all businesses, by investing our efforts and funds in seasonal decorations, flowers in the summer, Christmas trees and ornamental lights in the winter.

We take care of electronic signage, lighting, hanging flower baskets, planters, bicycle racks, murals and public art object maintenance. One of the zone’s focal points is the watershed at the junction of St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s roads in the heart of Old St. Vital.

The Watershed was commissioned by the Winnipeg Arts Council in collaboration with the Old St. Vital BIZ, as part of the redevelopment of the transit plaza at the intersection of St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s. The planters and river-lot paving pick up on existing Old St. Vital BIZ streetscape elements. The maple trees, along with shrubs, grasses and annuals provide a soft backdrop for the corner, working to enhance and complement the public art.

The OSVB board provides jobs for local students every summer with the support of Canada Summer Student Job and Urban Green Team grants from the federal and provincial governments. Thanks to their amazing work our zone is flourishing and free of Graffiti.  

The Old St. Vital zone benefits from the BIZ Graffiti Removal program. Our team responds promptly to various requests and provides efficient removal of graffiti, so the businesses maintain their clean and well-kept look.

• Is there space available for new businesses to locate in Old St. Vital?

We have some available space for new businesses; we encourage prospective business owners to search the real estate listings and hopefully, establish their new businesses in our zone.  

• Are there specific types of businesses that you would like to see opened in Old St. Vital?

We have a great mix of different businesses and we will be pleased to welcome any new business.

Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email her at

Andrea Geary

Andrea Geary
St. Vital community correspondent

Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital and was once the community journalist for The Headliner.

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