A business development corporation (SDC – société de développement commercial) or an initiative and business development corporation (SIDC) is a non-profit association formed to stimulate the economic development of a given area.
There are currently 19 SDCs in Montreal, including 4 in Ville-Marie Borough:
The terms and conditions for founding, dissolving and operating an SDC are defined in the Cities and Towns Act, R.S.Q.,c. C-19. By regulation, the borough defines the boundaries of a commercial zone within which it may create a single business district that includes at least fifty businesses. The SDC’s budget and contribution parameters are decided on annually by an elected borough council. The contribution is compulsory for all members. Members must be fully paid up in order to be entitled to vote in corporation meetings. The contribution is collected by the City of Montreal and entirely remitted to the board of directors of each of the corporations.
The Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal (Old Montreal business development corporation) was founded in 2004. The initiative was the result of the combined effort of visionary retailers and business people—all convinced that an SDC for the entire old quarter would provide for its development over the short, medium and long terms.
SDC Vieux-Montréal is a so-called “sectorial” development corporation. This means that it comprises over 2,000 members, some 500 of which are retailers and 1,500 are business offices, and all of which have their place of business somewhere on the historic district’s territory. To ensure compliance with this stipulation, members of the SDC’s Board of Directors represent every geographical sector and area of commercial or business activity carried out in Old Montreal. The SDC must be representative of its environs.
In order to ensure the success of its various projects and activities, SDC Vieux-Montréal currently employs five people full time (year ’round).
The chief mandate of SDC Vieux-Montréal consists in bringing all of its members together and setting up a unified business unit. The SDC is duty-bound to work tirelessly on sharing ideas, addressing current issues as a group, finding realistic solutions, and setting up a living and working environment where good neighbourliness is the order of the day. The more people participate in the SDC, the more influence it will have.
The chief mandate of SDC Vieux-Montréal is to upgrade, enhance and promote the district. Given the magnitude of economic activity in Old Montreal, it is required to act locally, nationally and internationally. The SDC must be proactive.
Also, in order to generate traffic in its area, SDC Vieux-Montréal has made it its mission to foster all forms of social and cultural life. It promotes attractions and events that truly represent the distinctive character of Old Montreal and faithfully reflect its heritage and historical aspect. The SDC does not produce events as such, but it does provide promotional support for the old quarter’s different activities.
FIELDS OF EXPERTISE
Developing new strategies specific to the old quarter / R&D
Putting Old Montreal on the map and promoting it worldwide
A catalyst and facilitator
Providing support for operations
Initiate good neighbourliness
MOBILE TOURIST ORIENTATION ATTENDANTS
(Project in partnership with Tourisme Montréal)