What is a BIA?

  • A BIA (Business Improvement Area) is established by businesses in an area to jointly raise and administer funds to improve and promote their businesses.
  • BIAs are run by the businesses, for the businesses
  • BIAs act as economic incubators – providing a robust environment for businesses to thrive; and also act as social conveners – creating a sense of place and community for Calgarians and visitors alike

What is the governance of a BIA?

  • BIAs are governed by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the bylaw AR 377/94.
  • The BIA has a volunteer, elected Board of Directors (BoD) who serve two-year terms
  • Board members must be a rate payer, or a designated representative of a ratepayer
  • The Inglewood BIA has two staff, the Executive Director and Administration
  • The staff answers to the direction of the board
  • Support resources come in the form of contractors, summer students and volunteers.

How are BIAs funded?

  • BIAs are financed through a BIA levy (established by the BoD of each BIA), collected by the City of Calgary, and distributed to each of the BIAs
  • .BIAs have the ability to apply for grants

What is the role of the BIA relative to the role of individual businesses?

  • The BIA ‘bends the stream and the merchants do the fishing’. In other words, the BIA is responsible for promoting the area; each individual business is responsible for promoting their own business!