Support for BIAs


BIAs can be catalysts for civic improvements and are significant contributors to the health and vitality of a municipality and its neighbourhoods. BIAs often work in partnership with their civic or municipal government to enhance the economic, social and cultural capacity of their unique commercial district.

Most municipalities have a BIA liaison staff or an economic development department, which can be a valuable resource for a BIA. Through the efforts of various municipal departments, a wide range of services and support can be provided, including:

  • Starting and/or expanding a BIA
  • Developing a budget
  • Providing seed money for feasibility studies
  • Strategic planning
  • Annual General Meeting assistance
  • Special event planning
  • Commercial research grants
  • Community festival and special events grants
  • Commercial façade improvement grants


Whether you’re starting a BIA from scratch or are renewing the organization for your 10th year, partnering with local community groups is a good way to bring a kaleidoscope of engaging ideas forward for community advancement. It will give your BIA a collective traction that benefits all who participate.
Many British Columbia BIAs have incredible working relationships with not just their local government, but also their Chamber of Commerce, their social services providers, their emergency services providers (fire/rescue/ambulance), local schools and universities, service clubs like the local Rotary or Kiwanis, to hospitals, sports clubs, arts councils as well as with community industry leaders that may not be a part of the core BIA membership.
Your BIA partnership ‘tent’ should be as big as you can make it – with plenty of room for more groups who ultimately want to help your business district thrive. By partnering with these diverse yet connected providers, your organization can help them succeed too.
From lending a hand when you need extra help on activating community vision, in soliciting opinion and finding positive solutions for social issues in your downtown core, for support of new plans to incentivize your district or your business categories – your community partnerships pay off in rewarding, interesting and wonderful ways. Giving back has its benefits.
BIABC also introduces and provides partners that individual BIAs can utilize for individual member and community gain. Industry leaders such as Fortis BC, BC Hydro, and IDA can give your BIA the tools it needs to realize its strategic plans and objectives. 


The Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia (BIABC) is a provincial umbrella organization driven by a volunteer Board of BIA executives and directors with a wealth of knowledge and experience, whose main goal is to champion strong, vibrant and successful downtowns, main streets and commercial districts throughout BC. Established in 1991, BIABC now represents more than 70 business districts, amounting to approximately 65,000 businesses and commercial property owners throughout the province and beyond.

BIABC is often the first point of contact for members and others interested in forming BIAs in their respective communities. BIABC provides a centralized resource for both members and prospective members requiring assistance or inspiration. BIABC resources include, but are not limited to:

  • BIA Handbook resource materials
  • BIA best practices
  • Networking opportunities
  • Professional development and educational resources
  • Advocacy
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