Business Improvement Association is a “made-in-Ontario” innovation that allows local people, commercial property owners and tenants to join together and, with municipal support, to organize, finance, carry out physical improvements and promote economic development in their district. Traditionally a BIA is a body established by a municipality using the specific business improvement area provisions in the Municipal Act, 2001.
It is governed by a board of management. BIAs are designated as Committees of Council and advocate on behalf of members at City Hall.
Property owners and tenants in the designated BIA area are all members of the BIA. Membership is based on a one-business, one-vote premise.
By becoming a property owner or tenant in the designated BIA area, that member is included in the BIA. A levy based on your property assessment and the approved BIA limits will be automatically assessed and added by the municipality.
Every member in good standing is entitled:
- To attend an Annual or General Meeting of the BIAs.
- To one (1) vote on each question arising at any Annual or General Meeting of the BIA and
- To hold any office of the BIA.
Dues are based on your annual tax assessment and the operating budget determined by the BIA. This is subject to change at each annual meeting if the board desires.
Invest Ottawa mandate extends beyond Kanata North so it does not represent or advocate for the unique requirements of the region over other areas of the city. The Kanata North BIA is focused exclusively on the needs of Kanata North. We intend to partner fully with Invest Ottawa on matters of interest to our BIA and welcomes the opportunity to work closely with Invest Ottawa.
The Kanata North BIA provides a unified voice and works with the Chamber of Commerce for the benefit of all stakeholders in the Kanata North area. The Chamber area extends throughout the City, while the Kanata North BIA address concerns specific to the Kanata North business area. The Kanata North BIA works collaboratively and shares resources with the Chamber to increase value for both organizations.
The levy you pay is paid through your property tax or rent. Different from the other taxes you pay, the money directed to fund the Kanata North BIA is dedicated to our local community and provides advocacy within the City of Ottawa. The Kanata North BIA is working diligently to improve the visibility of the unique requirements of our community and encourage the city to treat them with the same priority as other Ottawa communities which have BIAs.
The fact is BIAs are already set up to serve other geographic areas of the city and with them those communities have a strong voice with the City of Ottawa. By not having a BIA, our community is at a disadvantage. The City of Ottawa has a Council of BIAs and the Mayor has regular meetings with the BIAs. Kanata North Business area needs to have a voice at those tables.
You are not alone. Kanata North has many high tech firms which sell internationally and do little if any business in the Ottawa area. But there are still critical questions that you should ask on behalf of your business. Where do your employees live? How is their commute? Does Kanata North offer the mix of services to make it attractive for top talent to commit to your business over a similar business in another region of the city? Do you feel disadvantaged competing with companies from known technology or innovation centres? Are you pleased with se rvices that the City provides? Do you feel that Kanata North is getting its fair share of economic development attention and dollars? Kanata North has been an innovation hub for over 25 years and the Kanata North BIA can help make it uniquely attractive for 25 more.
The economic health of an area is directly tied to the businesses in the area. Your customers work at these businesses – technology or otherwise – and many of them live in Kanata North. Without healthy companies employing many people and drawing them to live nearby, you will have fewer customers. We are committed to helping all the businesses in Kanata North thrive, and that includes everyone in the retail and services sector. Your businesses are critical to drawing talent to the area, and your businesses depend on a large and employed workforce. Let’s work together!