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Smart, Savvy + Associates is excited to partner with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) in their search for an Economic Development Manager. This is a tremendous opportunity to be a change agent, advocate and inspirer and play a significant role in shaping Downtown Vancouver as a livable, sociable and economically vibrant, urban environment. DVBIA, one of Canada’s largest business improvement associations with 8000 members, is rolling out an exciting new 5-year strategy to engage members and stakeholders in its vision to be a Downtown Vancouver where everyone is welcomed and wants to be. And you can be part of it.
About You 
You bring proven sector experience, love urban spaces and see the potential to re-vitalize, develop and help create a vibrant, talked about, destination that attracts investment, development, businesses, and people. You are creative, resourceful and have a solid understanding of urban economic principles. Your strengths are building networks and relationships. You love when you see opportunities to create connections and bring people together to support revitalization. An energetic advocate for owners and managers of commercial properties and businesses, you know how to solve problems, get things done and make solid recommendations.
About DVBIA 

DVBIA was created by Vancouver City Council in 1990 at the request of downtown business people and property owners. It is funded by a special municipal levy that is paid by all commercial properties within the Association’s geographical boundaries. Comprising 90 square blocks of prime office, retail, entertainment and tourism properties, and representing more than 8,000 individual business members.
About the role

This role reports to the Director of Operations and works closely with the President & CEO to promote business vibrancy within the DVBIA. The Economic Development Manager is an advocate for investment in Downtown properties and businesses; analyzes real estate, development and leasing activity; serves as liaison to owners and managers of properties and businesses; assists in navigating approval processes and developing supporting programs at the DVBIA; develops and manages programs to support recruiting and retaining retail, restaurant, entertainment and office tenants; and formulates recommendations to DVBIA senior management for further downtown revitalization. 
Urban Revitalization
  • Work in tandem with President & CEO on economic development issues
  • Develop, implement and manage programs to support recruitment and retention of retail, restaurant, entertainment and office tenants.
  • Match-make potential commercial tenants and property owners to support area revitalization.
  • Monitor construction activity and track estimated milestone and completion dates
  • Identify and monitor investment and leasing activity for retail, restaurant and office tenant spaces.
  • Serve as consultant to owners and managers of properties and businesses navigating approval and enforcement processes (e.g. permits, licenses, parking restrictions, and waste management), resolving issues where appropriate and escalating cases as needed.
  • Monitor in-progress tenancies and identify opportunities for the DVBIA to assist where appropriate.
  • Counsel properties and businesses with non-compliance issues, including signage, outdoor dining, use of public right of way and other management needs
  • Join leasing agents in telling the real story of downtown.
Research and Analysis
  • Review, research and monitor economic development and policy initiatives of the City of Vancouver and other partner organizations
  • Analyze and monitor real estate and development projects for consistency with strategic goals and objectives and economic impact on the community
  • Develop database of contact information for owners, managers and other representatives of properties and businesses for economic development Projects.
Facilitation and Relationship Building
  • Manage introduction of organization and services to new business and property owners
  • Develop positive relationships, partnerships and collaborations with downtown stakeholders as well as city staff and elected officials through personal contact and involvement in other organizations and committees. 
  • Cultivate and maintain professional relationships with a variety of external contacts, including city staff, community organizations, stakeholders, and vendors
  • Keep district stakeholders informed of construction, land use or other issues that might impact their interests
  • Preparing in advance a highly detailed year-long vision, timeline, work plan and budget for Downtown Economic Development
  • Providing insight on the economic landscape and opportunities to senior staff.
  • Written and Oral presentations.
  • Selling concepts to different neighbourhood groups in diverse ways.
  • Complete special projects and other duties as assigned.
Experience & Education
  • Ideal candidates will have completed a Bachelor’s degree and at least 5 – 7 years of relevant work experience. A Master’s degree is desirable.
  • Degrees in public administration, public policy, urban planning, real estate, economics, business administration, finance and other related fields are preferred.
  • Relevant work experience and/or research in retail leasing, facilitation, urban geography/economics, urban real estate economics, urban revitalization, pop-up retail, is preferred.
  • Insight into private and public-sector work with a global perspective is an asset.
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Screening Process

Wondering where you stand if you're a job seeker? Here's an overview of what you can expect on the job hunting end.


This seems self-explanatory. You've polished, edited, fabuloused your resume for us, so you've applied to a job or registered through our online portal. Your resume then makes its way to us via email.

Job Match

We are a client-facing business so we’re actively seeking people that fit our client’s requests. If you’re a fit for a role, we’ll reach out via email or phone to chat further about the opportunity with you. If the opportunity aligns with your career trajectory, we’ll continue the discussion from there. If you’re not a fit for a role, we’ll do our best to let you know that so we can keep your job hunt respected and honest.

Online Screening

If we've contacted you with an opportunity that you're interested in pursuing, we'll put you through a screening process called the Online Career Profile. It's an online questionnaire that allows us to get to know you more in-depth: what you've achieved, where you want to go, your views on corporate culture. It takes about an hour to complete, but we promise the investment will be worth the return so we can find you a perfect match.


We then meet face-to-face with you to flush out your OCP further and get to know you on a personal level. If following this both parties see a great fit for the role in mind, we then introduce you to our client to go through their interview and hiring process.

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