What Is A BIA
A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work with support from the City to create thriving and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses.
Who can be part of a BIA?
Upon approval by City Council, every business automatically becomes a member. Everyone benefits, so everyone pays. A BIA arises from the retail and professional activities of a main street, but it also helps to stabilize and revitalize the surrounding community.
How does a BIA work?
Each BIA is administered by a volunteer Board of Management, made up of volunteer members of that BIA who are elected by their fellow BIA members and approved by City Council.
What is a BIA supposed to do?
The mandate of each BIA is to improve business conditions in their own area. As such, BIAs are vital to the economic health of Hamilton and have done much to improve the prosperity of neighbourhoods across the city.
- Promote the area as a tourist or shopping area (through the BIA website, business directories, festivals, special events, advertising, marketing and social media)
- Manage the beautification of the street (including street banners, flowers in planters or hanging baskets, seasonal decorations, etc.)
- Offer graffiti and poster removal assistance respecting building facades visible from the street
- Undertake safety and security initiatives within the BIA
- Act as an advocate, communication point, information sharing and liaison for business owners and BIA members with the City and with other community partners
How is a BIA funded?
The municipality collects a levy from commercial property owners (usually derived from tenants), and provides it to the BIA as their annual budget. Building on the budget, a BIA can do more for the business area through grants, sponsorships and partnerships.