"As soon as I stepped foot into the International Village BIA office I knew I was in good hands.

"Susie has been integral to The Gifted's introduction to The International Village through her knowledge of the area, and her social media prowess.

"Each interaction has been positive, informative, and her passion for the neighborhood is evident. The Gifted is happy to be a part of the International Village."

THE GIFTED - 249 King St. East

"Since 2007 we have worked through the various trials and tribulations of development in downtown Hamilton.

"During this time, the BIA has helped resolve many issues affecting the neighbourhood including waste management, vandalism, pest control, security. We have also been able to reach out to the BIA on occasion to liaise with City Hall for questions related to grant applications and tenant matters. Most recently, the BIA introduced us to an anchor tenant for one of our buildings that pushed that project to the next level.

"We support the job the BIA is doing in the International Village, particularly Susie Braithewaite who has always been positive, knowledgeable and helpful whenever assistance was requested.

"Thank you for your continued support."

Doug Bodo
Owner 323-327 King St. E. & 15-21 Wellington St. North

"The International Village BIA is a wonderful resource in our downtown International Village area. Aside from the staff being very friendly and outgoing, they support local businesses on social media, which is wonderful.

"Also, if you have any questions pertaining to local issues (signage questions, building issues, BIA events, and general Hamilton information), they're the people to ask!"

Kristi Cino

"Prior to purchasing my retail space and moving my store from Westdale Village, I was conducting research to ensure that the move to International Village would be a good one for my business. As the owner of a jewellery store, an important consideration was security so I was interested in obtaining information about crime statistics in the area.

"I reached out to the International Village BIA executive director and aside from providing me with the information I requested she also suggested I conduct a security audit, a service offered for free by the Hamilton Police department.

"She put me in touch with the officer in charge of this program and the audit turned out to be an invaluable service as it outlined the pros and cons of various security features and helped me decide exactly which ones were best suited to my situation and the smartest to invest in.

"I am very grateful for having been informed about this program and in general find that being located within our BIA is a bonus for my business. Among other roles, the executive director is a liaison to city staff, programs and initiatives that one may otherwise be unaware of.

Maja Prvanovic-Kogut, Owner & Jewellery Designer

"Being part of the International Village BIA is like being part of family. All the wonderful businesses in the BIA are always so willing to help support a fellow business.

The social media support is also so fantastic. I love that the International Village is always sharing Stepping Out's posts. Thank you for the amazing support!"

Sarah Bethune

"Navigating City Hall when trying to open a business may not be the most seamless process, but it certainly helps to have your Business Improvement Association behind you.

"Susie Braithwaite, E.D of the International Village BIA, was quick to assist me with various obstacles including building and licensing permits as well as connecting me with the right people at City Hall.

"Once open, I was having issues with acquiring a temporary liquor license for the outdoor patio. Ms Braithwaite acted quickly and helped expedite the city process, allowing me to open the patio to our community.

"Without my BIA, I would have definitely had a tougher time with many issues surrounding the opening and operations of my business."

Emily Groom
STEEL LOUNGE - 197 King William St.

"My name is Peter DeSotto and I represent the company Urban Map.

"We have recently acquired 193 King St E which was formerly known as the Sandbar. Competition to buy this property was stiff as there were many people in line who also realized what a great opportunity this was.

"Susie put me in touch with the right people in the neighborhood and assisted in helping to write a convincing proposal which made this a reality. As a newcomer coming from Toronto only a year ago I am not sure I could have done this without her help."


Peter DeSotto

"We have always had an ongoing positive relationship with our International Village B.I.A.

"We find their board very open and always willing to answer questions and communicate issues and problems arising in our community. I notice also our B.I.A have a great working relationship with our Central police Division.

"Executive and Board members are always seen out and about in our downtown core talking to business owners.

"Susie and her Board do a great job, and work very hard to develop and improve our International Village. With music, functions, art and food shows. We at Jet Cafe appreciate their hard work and endless hours they tally to help make our Hamilton better.

Thank you Susie and your BIA Board of Directors."

Jeff and Sarene Valentine
JET CAFE - 184 King St. E.

"When I first opened my shop, I was unsure of where to set up. Meeting with Susie at the BIA office was a huge help and made me excited about this up-and-coming area. She answered lots of questions I had and was supportive and encouraging.

"I'm so glad to have ended up in this BIA and look forward to seeing how it grows and develops."

Whitney McMeekin

"While sourcing a location for Cafe Oranje, we wanted a location that would help fuel the feeling of community for our patrons, our staff, and for the coffee community.

"We wanted to be in an area where businesses supported each other and worked together for the common good of the area. The International Village is exactly that, with the ongoing work of the BIA, International Village continues to develop and grow and welcomes a unique and exciting collection of business, who are all working together to bring about positive things in the Village."

Christopher Godwaldt

"When I decided to open my business in the International Village, I visited the BIA office and received a warm welcome from Executive Director, Susie Braithwaite.

"She also provided me with information on the grants available to me as a BIA member, and I took advantage of the facade improvement grant and saved money on signage for my shop!"

Julie Gordon

Top of Page