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Home > About Us > What is a BIA

What is a BIA

ByWard Market BIA Annual Report 2012What is a BIA?  BIA stands for Business Improvement Area.  The primary role of a BIA is to enhance the area it represents.  Business people within a specific geographical location join together with the help of their municipality to improve the area through initiatives such as marketing and events and by protecting its interests in government and business arenas.

Through their membership in the BIA, local businesses become more involved and informed about plans and developments that affect them. These include issues such as parking, safety concerns, marketing initiatives, urban planning and transportation, development and construction, tourism and economic development.  The BIA provides an opportunity for local small businesses to speak with a united voice on issues of common concern and interest.

How does a BIA operate?  A BIA is a membership-based non-profit organization formed in a commercial area to promote the area as a whole.  A BIA is created through a municipal by-law, and is funded by levies collected from all commercial properties within its boundaries.  The ByWard Market BIA was formed in 1993, and is administered by an elected 12-member Board of Management and two full-time employees – an executive director and a communication and special events coordinator.

Who are the members?  Each commercial property within the boundaries of the BIA pays a levy toward the BIA which is collected along with property taxes by the municipality – both tenants and property owners are members of the BIA!  The ByWard Market BIA represents over 400 businesses and 200 properties, all located within an area of roughly four square blocks.

Values & Principles:

  • preserving the unique character of the ByWard Market as possessing a wide variety of owner-operated businesses and a farmers’ market that make the Market rich in heritage, activity and animation.

  • supporting efforts to protect the long-term viability of the farmers’ market and the selling of food

  • recognizing that unique owner-operated businesses contribute something special to the Market

  • ensuring fairness and equity to all members such that the benefits to a single member business never outweigh the mutual benefits to all member businesses

  • focussing on residents first and then visitors

  • promoting the Market as a safe place to live, shop, visit and operate a business

  • being socially responsible business people

For more information on the ByWard Market BIA, or to sign up for our e-newsletter (as a member of a Marketophile), contact bia@byward-market.com