What is a Business Revitalization Zone/Business Improvement Area (BRZ/BIA)?
- A BRZ is a Business Revitalization Zone. In June 1983, the Province of Alberta passed legislation that allows municipalities to establish Business Revitalization Zones.
- A BIA is a non-profit association of business owners that join together to promote and improve the economic vitality of their business district.
- Worldwide there are approximately 1200 Business Improvement Areas of like Business Improvement Areas. Approximately 348 of these Business Improvement Areas are in Canada.
- The main purpose of a BIA is to revitalize and maintain a dynamic commercial area and promote the area as a business or retail destination.
- The mandate of a BIA is to encourage the economic and physical improvement of local businesses through beautification and maintenance of streetscapes, buildings and structures in the area, and to promote the area as a business and shopping district.
- Some strategies BIAs use to achieve their goals are:
- Maintenance: sidewalk cleaning, graffiti removal, etc.
- Special Events and Festivals
- Marketing and Economic Development: Websites, promotional materials, signage
- Regulatory Advocacy and Bylaw Enforcement
- Business Recruitment
- Parking and Transportation Management
- Public Spaces
- Streetscape and Capital Improvements
- Improving Open Spaces: Parks, Green Spaces, etc.
- The name BRZ was changed to BIA on July 1, 2016
COUNCIL OF BIAs
- The Edmonton Council of Business Improvement Areas consists of 13 diverse commercial districts with equal representation and represents approximately 25% of the total number of businesses in the City of Edmonton. Using a consensus method, the BIA Council markets, promotes, and advocates for the BIAs of Edmonton and encourages economic development and growth in the 13 commercial areas. The BIA Council will use its collective voice and strength to build relationships and increase awareness among stakeholders.
- The Edmonton Council of Business Improvement Area aims to celebrate the diversity of the BIAs and their unique contributions to making Edmonton a livable and vibrant city with walk-able social spaces.
- The 13 Business Improvement Areas in the City of Edmonton are: Alberta Avenue Business Association, Beverly Business Association, Chinatown and Little Italy Business Association, Downtown Business Association, Fort Road Business Association, French Quarter Business Association, Inglewood Business Association, Kingsway District Association, Northedge Business Association, Northwest Industrial Business Association, Old Strathcona Business Association, Stony Plain Road Business Association, and 124th Street and Area Business Association.
How is a BIA established?
- A BIA is established by the City of Edmonton at the request of the business community under the legislation in the Municipal Government Act (RSA 2000, C.M-26).
- Upon receipt of a formal request signed by at least 25 percent of the taxpayers within the proposed boundaries and if no petition is filed by at least 50 percent of the tax payers against the proposed BIA, the City may pass a bylaw establishing the BIA Board as a not-for-profit corporation.
- City Council sets the zones boundaries and approves the BIAs annual budget. The City also collects the special tax levy for the BIA and forwards it to each organization in quarterly payments.
- Further information on how to establish a BIA can be obtained by contacting the City of Edmonton City Planning and Development by phone at 780-496-6095 or by visiting their website at www.edmonton.ca.
Who is a Member of a BIA?
- Any business that lies within the prescribed BIA boundaries is a Member of the Business Improvement Area and contributes to the BIA budget by way of the special tax levy.
- Members of the BIA are entitled to attend the BIAs Annual General Meetings and are eligible to vote on the selection of members to the board.
- Every member business is entitled to one vote at these meetings.
Who sits on the BIA Board of Directors?
- Any business that lies within the prescribed boundaries determined by City Council is a Member of the Business Improvement Area and contributes to the BIA budget by way of the special tax levy is given the opportunity to nominate themself or another to sit on the Board of Directors.
- A select number of seats on the Board of Directors may be held by people outside of the BIA.
- Members of the BIA are entitled to attend the BIAs Annual General Meetings and are eligible to vote on the selection of people nominated to the board.
- Every member business is entitled to one vote at these meetings.
- The list of approved nominees are submitted to City Council for approval.
- Meet our current board members. Click Here.
How does the BIA tax levy work?
- Each year, The Board of Directors of the Business Improvement Area (nominated by the Membership) approve the BIAs budget. The Annual Budget is presented at the Annual General Meeting.
- The budget is submitted to City Council for approval, as required by legislation. After approval, a special levy sufficient to raise the approved budget amount is added to the Municipal Business Tax for all businesses within the BIA area.
- The levy is collected through the City through the normal tax billing process and distributed to the BIA through quarterly payments.
- Each business member’s share of the annual budget is proportionate to their share of the total taxable value within the BIA boundaries.
What benefit does the BIA provide my Business?
- The ability to use a dedicated revenue stream to promote local goals with neighbouring businesses in order to improve, market, and promote the business area.
- Physical and economic improvements to the business area.
- Some BIAs provide their owners with marketing and promotion campaigns, streetscape improvements, special events, private security, and business recruitment campaigns.
- Revitalization and maintenance creates a cleaner, safer and more attractive environment that benefits all businesses operating in the BIA.
- Improved communication between the business community, municipal staff, and City Council.
How can one get involved in this BIA?
- To find out about opportunities for involvement contact Ellie Sasseville, Executive Director of the KDA. Phone 780-454-9716.
- Some opportunities for involvement include:
- Serving as a member of the Board of Directors
- Serving as a member of a standing committee of the Board
- Serving as a volunteer for special events and promotions
Who do I contact for further information?
- For further information regarding the Kingsway District Association (KDA), contact Ellie Sasseville, Executive Director
- If you require additional information, you can contact the City of Edmonton Planning and Development Department, Historic Sites and Business Improvement Areas Section at 780-496-6095.