Email this pageBusiness Improvement Area Handbook
A Business Improvement Area is a geographic area in a municipality. A BIA board of management is an organization set up to provide certain business promotion and improvement functions within that area.
A BIA allows local business people and property owners to join together and with the support of the municipality, to organize, finance and carry out physical improvement and promote economic development in their district. The local municipality is the body that is responsible for approving the budget of the BIA.
There are now more than 230 BIAs in place across the province. They vary in size from less than 60 businesses and property owners to more than 2,000.
The purpose of this document is to provide an information resource on Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) for local property owners, business people and municipal officials.
Business Improvement Areas offer a self-help approach to revitalizing business districts. Involvement with a BIA generally entails a substantial commitment of time and financial resources. However, past experience suggests that a committed membership generally leads to a successful BIA. These documents are intended as an aid to those groups of business operators and property owners who are prepared to provide such a commitment.
Table of Contents
- Important Note to User
- Foreword: The 2010 BIA Handbook
- Introduction to Business Improvement Areas
- Role of the Province
- Changes to the Legislation
- Understanding the Responsibilities of Local Boards
- Role of the Municipality
- MANAGING AND OPERATING A BIA
- Key Steps in Establishing a Traditional Business Improvement Area
- Managing and Operating a BIA
- Financial Management
- Alternatives to Business Improvement Areas and Other Economic Development Tools
- Links to Other Resources
- APPENDIX A: A Sample Checklist to Identify Business Area Needs
- APPENDIX B: Sample BIA Budget
- APPENDIX C: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- APPENDIX D – LEGISLATION
- APPENDIX E: CASE STUDIES
- Appendix F: Links to Ontario BIA Websites
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