What is a BIA?
Each Business Improvement Area is made up of business owners and building owners in our BIA catchment area. We are a non for profit organization that receives it's funding and partners with and receives it's funding from The City of Toronto through property tax levies paid by the commercial building owners.
Our goal is to create a thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses. By working collectively as a BIA, local businesses have the organizational and funding capacity to be catalysts for civic improvement and enhancing the quality of life in their local neighbourhood and the City as a whole.
Toronto BIAs are also members of an umbrella organization called the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA). TABIA encourages and facilitates the exchange of information, experiences, and ideas among BIAs; advocates on behalf of BIAs to influence government policy; helps obtain funding for programs and services for BIAs; and offers discount and savings programs for its members, such as preferred Merchant Visa and MasterCard rates.
The decision to start a BIA can only be made by people who own or lease commercial property in the area. Starting a new BIA involves a specific process as outlined in Municipal Code Chapter 19(PDF).
How does a BIA work?
A BIA is run by a volunteer Board of Management elected from its members. The Board is nominated at an Annual General Meeting and, once approved by City Council, serves a four-year term concurrent with the term of Council. The Board works on behalf of its BIA and meets regularly to develop budgets, set priorities, implement capital improvements, plan festivals, and promote its business area.
How is a BIA funded?
Once the BIA members approve the budget and City Council ratifies it, funds are raised through a levy on all commercial and industrial properties within the BIA’s boundary. Calculation of this levy is based on the proportionate value of each property’s commercial and/or industrial assessment. Once the City collects the levy, it returns the funds to the BIA to manage.
When does the BIA Meet and who can attend?
We meet the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm at Village Vinyl Music Emporium and Cafe 2925Lake Shore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON M8V 1J2 (subject to change)
Anyone can attend a BIA meeting,both members and non-members but to speak or give a presentations, you need to be invited or pre-arrange the meeting with the Chair Person. Only board members may vote at regular meetings.
Our Annual General meeting is held each fall and notice is given in writing 5 weeks ahead of time. Only members may vote at an Annual General Meeting.
We welcome both BIA Members and non-members to join one of our committees and work on projects like events and community safety. In fact we have a strong history of great community volunteers on our events and they would not be possible without thier efforts.
For more information on BIA please visit: City of Toronto BIA's
Lakeshore Village BIA, Longbranch, Mimico and Mimico by the Lake BIAs work collaboratively to enhance the South Etobicoke Area as a whole. This model of joint BIA collaboration is unique and something we are very proud of.