A Business Improvement Areas (BIA) is a self-help program by which businesses in an area can jointly raise and administer funds to improve and promote their businesses.
- Enhance the economic development of an area through promotion and marketing.
- Improve the physical environment of public spaces in commercial areas.
- Develop, improve and maintain public parking.
- Work collaboratively with The City in delivery of municipal services in their zones.
- Advocate for policies and practices that support economic vitality in their zones.
- Calgary's ten BIA's made an initial streetscape improvement investment through a local improvement bylaw.
- After the initial capital investment, BIA's invest annually in promotion, special events, street maintenance and improvements.
- More than $14 million in BIA direct contribution to streetscape improvements through local improvement bylaws or direct spending since 1983.
- Nearly $2 million per year spent by BIA's on promotions, events, and street improvements.
- BIA's contribute $59 million in annual business taxes.
- BIA's account for over $661 million in assessed value.
- 5400 businesses represented.
- 3400 Downtown and 2000 in the remaining BIAs
- BIAs represent about 20 per cent of all Calgary businesses.
- Excluding the downtown, businesses represented in other BIAs are evenly split between professional offices and retailers, restaurants, etc.
- Downtown has about 70 per cent professional offices and 30 per cent retail businesses
Environmental & social value
- BIAs play a lead role in area revitalization and work with their communities on public safety and crime prevention efforts.
- Helped create some of Calgary's best known and most loved neighbourhoods.
- People living in and visiting Calgary identify with and value these areas as special and unique - each BIA gives Calgary a distinctive, appealing 'character'.
- BIAs offer an international array of exotic and unusual shops, food stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.
- BIAs invest in public art and sponsor some of Calgary's most popular events: Sun & Salsa, Lilac Festival, Mosaic Community Cultural Festival, Chalkwalk, Sunfest Mainstreet Festival, and the Santa Claus Parade.
- BIAs collaborate with The City regarding operational issues in the community (parks, land use, urban design, redevelopment, physical improvements, public safety, maintenance, traffic, parking, etc.).
- BIAs provide input on policies to support economic health.