accessible and compact
downtowns, cores and
village and community
centers -- and similar
concentrations of mixed
use – will build community,
opportunity, reduce costs
and improve the
than any other
strategy for city or
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Establishing a BIA
The initiative for establishing a BIA program should originate with the local business community. If they decide that the BIA concept is the best vehicle to improve their area, and if they obtain the support of their peers, they can apply to their city or municipal Council to have the area designated as a Business Improvement Area and to add a special levy on all commercial properties within the proposed boundary.
The Business Improvement Association of British Columbia (BIABC) is pleased to provide assistance and guidance to business groups interested in forming a BIA.
BIABC offers outreach services to areas interested in developing a BIA. We strongly recommend obtaining information and advice from BIABC before canvassing local business people or your municipal Council. A common pitfall is insufficient knowledge about the BIA concept to adequately describe it to others. Please contact BIABC and we can give you an overview.
- The first step in establishing a BIA is to hold meetings with affected business owners to ascertain whether general support for a BIA is evident. The concept should be explained and the ramifications for the affected businesses discussed. BIABC could suggest speakers that could present and explain details and provide examples.
- If the idea of a BIA is generally supported, a proposed budget and boundaries should be discussed and support secured from the affected landlords and businesses. It is beneficial to keep municipal council informed of the progress of BIA discussions. BIABC could provide guidance as well may share a list of consultants should your area want to explore that option.
- When assured of support, BIA organizers should send a letter to City Hall formally requesting BIA designation. This will initiate a formal process for BIA approval and designation (see BIABC's Handbook in the 'resources' section).