Nanaimo businesses will learn how to combat graffiti problems and parking issues on Nov. 26 organized by the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a serious problem in the city,” says Barry Hornby, Bylaw Enforcement Officer for the City of Nanaimo.
Hornby is presenting a Spark Session on the graffiti problem and parking issues in Nanaimo. The session is offered free to Chamber members.
Hornby says the graffiti problem is a 50/50 mix between business and residential, though business people can get help with removing the problem.
“With the DNBIA, (Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association), they have a graffiti budget to remove it,” says Hornby.
DNBIA Office Administrator Carol Xavier says businesses can phone or email when there is a graffiti problem and a contractor is contacted to remove it.
“I ask them to send me a picture if possible,” she says. “Then the contractor removes graffiti or paints over it.”
Xavier says removing the graffiti quickly has resulted in less graffiti downtown, and notes the problem is often cyclical.
Hornby says concerned business owners can also take steps to make the graffiti easier to remove it.
“A lot of business people aren’t aware you can coat your building with a graffiti coating, “ he says. “It comes off with soap and water.”
The coating costs $2-$4 a square foot but once the building is coated, ‘it cuts down on removal in the long run,” says Hornby.
He says it’s important to report graffiti so the perpetrators can be caught.
“So then if we catch whoever’s done it, we can go after them,” says Hornby. “A lot of people won’t report it to the RCMP”
Businesses can install security cameras that will help catch the perpetrators to cut down on the graffiti problem, as one person can tag 80-100 places a night.
As for parking, Hornby says businesses that have on street parking such as downtown Nanaimo can seek solutions with the city.
“A lot of businesses get very frustrated with parking or lack of parking,” he says. “So maybe we can assist in alleviating the problem.”