A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a unique opportunity for businesses to work together to accomplish mutual goals. Customers want safe, interesting and attractive places to shop, dine and conduct business.
A BIA can attract customers and enhance an area through:
- Streetscape improvements
- Joint promotions and festivals
- Economic development initiatives
- Façade Improvement Program
- Development Incentive Program
BIA Business Association
A BIA is initiated at the request of a business community. It is set up and governed by a combination of provincial legislation and City policy.
When a BIA is created, City Council establishes a business association, sets the BIA boundary, and approves a Board of Directors and annual budget. The budgeted amount is collected through a special tax levy of BIA members.
Once established, City Council annually approves the BIA's budget, Board of Directors, and special tax levy. All monies collected by the City are returned to the Business Association in quarterly instalments to fund the BIA's initiatives.
Find the locations of all the BIAs in Edmonton.
A business association must meet several requirements each year:
- Produce an audited financial statement and annual report
- Conduct an annual general meeting for its members
- Nominate a Board of Directors
- Draft an annual budget
Civic Coordinating Function
Sustainable Development provides the civic coordinating function for Edmonton's BIAs. Staff provide consultative and planning services related to the establishment and ongoing operation of BIAs. Staff also prepare BIA reports and bylaws for City Council's consideration.
Business Improvement Areas Handbook
Sustainable Development, together with BIA associations, created the BIA Handbook as a one-stop resource for established and future Business Improvement Areas to improve their operating practices. The information is primarily for Executive Directors, BIA Board members, local business owners and City officials.
The intent of the handbook is not to regulate BIA services, but to answer questions on the management of a BIA and ensure that services can be effectively provided, and to serve as a point of reference.
The handbook provides guidelines for the operations of a BIA, such as hiring of staff and running effective meetings, provides information on strategic planning and financial management, and encourages BIA Executive Directors and Board Members to discover new services and programs for their BIA membership.
To get information about a specific Business Improvement Area, please refer to the list of BIA Contacts.