This week at GC the BIA presented their annual budget for 2022 which included plans the BIA has for the downtown core this year. As some folks are not aware of the source(s) of funding of the BIA I will provide the following in the hopes that it provides an explanation that will be easy to understand. “A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the Town to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses.” And “ As a legal organization mandated by provincial legislation, BIAs are able to develop a budget for improvements and, through the Town, collect a levy from businesses in the area to raise the necessary funds.”
So in other words, the Town approves the added tax levy to the property owners in the defined area (only;the tax levy does not apply town wide) and the BIA uses the funds to enhance the area and spur economic growth in the downtown core.
Throughout the pandemic the BIA has done a tremendous job of continuing to promote the Downtown core with advertising, running events such as Machell Alley pop up concerts, and working with the Town to create the Dance Party on Yonge street; closing off a portion of Yonge street for a fantastic night of music and dancing. Just like all new organizations it takes time to grow; with every year we see a gradual build and the BIA is no exception. This upcoming year promises to be an exciting one with many events and many enhancements that will increase awareness for the local businesses in the downtown and bring more and more people to the area to visit and shop.
I want to thank all the volunteers and the board members of the BIA for the work that they do, to continue to grow this important organization. They have worked hard and the successes of the BIA will be the success for the Town as well. And I am looking forward to when the Town Square is complete and the street of lights are up and the BIA is able to capitalize on the full potential of our downtown core.