What is a BIA?

A BIA is a Business Improvement Area. In June 1983 the Province of Alberta passed a legislation that allows municipalities to establish Business Revitalizations Zones. The name was later changed to Business Improvement Areas in December 2016.

A BIA is a non-profit association of business owners that join together to promote and improve the economic vitality of their business district.

Worldwide there are approximately 1200 Business Improvement Areas.

The main purpose of a BIA is to improve and maintain a dynamic commercial area and promote the area as a business or retail destination.

The mandate of a BIA is to encourage the economic and physical improvement of local businesses through beautification and maintenance of streetscapes, buildings and structures in the area, and to promote the area as a business and shopping district.

Some strategies BIA’s use to achieve their goals are:

  • Maintenance – sidewalk cleaning, graffiti removal, etc in partnerships
  • Special Events and Festivals to attract people
  • Marketing and Economic Development – websites, promotional material, signage
  • Regulatory Advocacy and Bylaw Enforcement
  • Business Recruitment
  • Parking and Transportation Management
  • Public Spaces
  • Streetscape and Capital Improvements
  • Improving Open Spaces – parks, green spaces, etc