No results found

About the BIA




What is a BIA Association?

  • A BIA is a non-profit association of business owners that join together to promote and improve the economic vitality of their business district and to promote their mutual interest.
  •  An Association established through a bylaw passed by City Council at the request of the local business community

Why would businesses form or expand a BIA Association?

  1. To provide a structure that allows separate and sometimes competing local businesses to work cooperatively and collectively to accomplish more than is possible individually.
  2. People want clean, interesting and attractive places to shop, eat, be entertained and conduct other business activities and they choose commercial areas that have those amenities.

Why would businesses form or expand a BIA Association?

Any business that lies within the prescribed BIA boundaries is a Member of the Business Revitalization Zone and contributes to the BIA budget by way of the special tax levy.




What can a BIA Association do?

  • BRZs have the ability to use a dedicated revenue stream to promote local goalswith businesses in order to improve, market, and promote the  business area.
  • Create a cleaner, safer and more attractive environment that benefits all businesses operating in the BIA.
  • Some BIAs provide their owners with marketing and promotion campaigns, streetscape improvements, special events, private security, and business recruitment campaigns.
  • Organize the business interests, resources and opinions within a commercial area made up of a variety of business types and sizes
  • Work on behalf of area businesses through consultation and participation with the City and other authorities on local and city wide economic development issues

How is the BIA Association different from other Business Associations?

  • A BIA Association is a creation of provincial legislation and City Policy and as such must be approved by City Council; it is formally recognized by municipal and provincial government as representing the needs and interests of businesses within the BIA area.
  • Regular funding is assured by utilizing the municipal government’s existing tax collection system and the requirement for the City to forward the full approved budget to the BIA Association.
  •  Regardless of size or affluence, each business within the Association is assured an equal    voice in the future directions and decisions of the BIA Associations

How is a BIA Association funded?

  • Each year, The Board of Directors of the Business Revitalization Zone (nominated by the Membership) approve the BIA’s budget. The Annual Budget is presented to its members at the Annual General Meeting.
  • The budget is submitted to City Council for approval, as required by legislation. After approval, a special levy sufficient to raise the approved budget amount is added to the Municipal Business Tax for all businesses within the BIA area.
  • The levy is collected by the City through the normal tax billing process and distributed to the BIA in quarterly payments.
  • Each business members’ share of the annual budget is proportionate to their share of the total taxable value within the BIA boundaries.

What role does the City Administration and City Council play in the operation and maintenance of a BIA?

  • Provincial legislation mandates that a BIA Association may only be established by a bylaw passed by City Council. City Council has authority to approve the Association’s Board of Directors, proposed budget and Levy bylaw.
  • The City’s Department of Sustainable Development provides the coordinating function for the BIA Association’s interaction with the Civic Administration, prepares reports and bylaws concerning the BIA for City Council’s consideration and ensures that legislative and municipal requirements and all municipal timelines are met.
  • The Finance Department maintains the current assessment roll upon which the Special Levy is based for the area and collects the special Levy for disbursement to the BIA Association.