Community Benefits Agreements are a contractual agreement between the business and community/agencies/groups for specific benefits to be provided to the community/agency/group from the Business. These benefits can range from financial support, community minded social policies, direct in-kind support or skilled or unskilled volunteerism (to name a few) to tackle a specific need of the community/agency/group.
In the context of this project, financial support will not be an eligible benefit as we recognize that a small business in many cases do not have the financial means to make monetary donations and we do not want the funds supplied by this grant to be a flow through to community groups. As a result, the expectation for applicants is for them to provide in-kind service, under take social hiring or business practicies or engage and support volunteerism in the community.
- A coffee shop partners with a community group by providing free space and coffee for the monthly neighbourhood watch meeting in their shop after hours.
- A marketing firm partners with a BIA to rebrand their district and rebuild their website at no cost.
- A shop owner agrees to join a community committee that meets bi-weekly and volunteer at their community events.
- A business owner commits to hire 2 youth out of the neighbourhood as part-time staff.
- Pay a living wage.
Applicants will be scored on the scope and breadth of their agreements and which agreements appear to have the largest potential impact on the neighbourhood. The applicant should include specific measures and deliverables around these benefits that can be tracked over time. We are not looking for these agreements to be onerous but we feel that by having the small business give back to the community it will create anchor institutions and lasting goodwill that spur broader revitalization in these areas.