At the City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday this week staff presented a report with an update on the Business Improvement Area (BIA)s in the City of Ottawa. As part of the report each BIA in the City was also required to provide their annual reports.
There is discussion in the business community in Stittsville to form a BIA and there currently is a steering committee that is working to reach out to businesses to share with them information on the benefits of a BIA. Another public meeting is also planned to be held in Stittsville this Fall to discuss a BIA further. A BIA is more than beautifications projects and events; it can be what the businesses want it to be.
I have provided information from the staff report below which provides additional details on BIAs and their benefits.
A BIA is a local board of the municipality that oversees the improvement, beautification and maintenance of municipally-owned land, buildings and structures in the area beyond that provided at the expense of the municipality and also promote the area as a business or shopping area. In March 2016, the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) and the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) began the Return on Investment of BIAs Project to increase the understanding of the impact of BIAs in Ontario. In April 2017, they released their findings, including: BIAs report a median spend of $32,500 annually dedicated to beautification; BIAs attract employees to an area increasing the daytime population; and, BIAs across Ontario produce an estimated total of 1,200 events annually.
The 2016 BIA Annual Reports highlight the achievements of the various BIAs within the City of Ottawa. While there are 19 BIAs within the City of Ottawa, only 18 are required to provide an annual report and audited financial statements for 2016, as Kanata Central was formed in 2017; Carp Village BIA and Somerset Village BIA have not submitted an Annual Report for 2016.
- Bank Street BIA entertained more than 50,000 attendees at the annual Glowfair Festival and received over one million views on the Glowfair website.
- Barrhaven BIA worked with Doyletech Corporation and completed an extensive research project; the results will be used to drive an employment marketing campaign in 2017/18.
- Bells Corners BIA acquired its own tartan and unveiled it on Tartan Day, April 6th, 2016, at a reception hosted at Whiprsnapr Brewing Company.
- ByWard Market BIA supported the following festivals and events: Clarence Street Patio Fest, North Dal Summer Fun, ByWard Bark-et, Ottawa Sausagefest, Black History Month (IFCO & Mercury Lounge), Server Games, and the North Dal Holiday Shopping Night.
- Carp Road Corridor BIA examined “cleantech” septic effluent treatment which will ensure protection of groundwater and public health as the rural industrial business area builds out.
- Downtown Rideau BIA expanded the BIA district to provide the newly expanded area with the same programming elements that are found in the existing BIA.
- Glebe BIA launched a new, mobile driven, responsive and consumer friendly website that, for the first time, captures the full Glebe experience.
- Heart of Orleans BIA played an integral role in the first annual Orléans Ribfest which saw 16,000 people visit the three-day event.
- Kanata North BIA published the Kanata North Technology Ecosystem Report.
- Manotick BIA celebrated the 40th annual Dickinson Day, in celebration of Moss Kent Dickinson, the founder of the Village of Manotick.
- Preston Street BIA implemented the Italian Week Father’s Day Weekend which included a Ferrari and Italian Car Parade, Bike Race, Street Party, Children’s formal fashion show, Artist’s Studio Tour, and a Scooter Demo Zone.
- Quartier Vanier BIA successfully launched a Quartier Vanier digital magazine and three sponsored articles in the Ottawa Business Journal aimed at attracting more businesses to the district.
- Somerset Street Chinatown BIA hosted the first Summer Asian Night Market, attracting over 20,000 people.
- Sparks Street BIA had a successful events season hosting Poutinefest, Ottawa Ribfest and the Ottawa International Busker Festival.
- Wellington West BIA recruited 101 business participants for the Tastes of Wellington West event.
- Westboro Village BIA executed a new BIA summer event, Westboro FUSE, and attracted more than 15,000 people to the district.