Heart of Orléans BIA

Return on Investment (ROI)

Understanding the Value of BIAs

It has long been suspected that Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) make an enormous contribution to the economic, social and cultural health of our province and our communities. A BIA is integral to advancing a distinct, livable, vibrant and resilient business district within its local community.

We know that BIAs make an enormous contribution to the economic, social and cultural health of our province and our communities. In 2016, the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and the Toronto Area Business Improvement Association (TABIA) together with the province decided it was time to establish a set of metrics to show the critical role our BIAs play and help us build on what we’ve accomplished. The result was the Return ON Investment of BIAs Project.

Street Appeal: how BIAs leverage money for beautification and how those investments in turn create a sense of place, attracting both visitors and value.

Economic Development: how BIAs contribute the economic well-being and growth of their areas, communities and municipalities

Supporting Small Business: how BIAs support the success and resiliency of member businesses.

Community Building:  how BIAs support the broader community by supporting strong relationships within their municipalities, good governance and safe environments.

The report sets a benchmark for BIAs across Ontario and helps to establish the impact BIAs are having on their communities over time.

More specifically, the report:

  • Identifies the success factors associated with the current and future state of BIAs, which will assist industry, municipalities and the Province in guiding future economic development and community planning decision making in a changing economy.
  • Identifies the key success benchmarks (indicators) against which future trends can be compared to determine BIA effectiveness. These benchmarks may also serve as a planning tool for BIAs and municipalities to assist in determining the state and needs of local economies.
  • Identifies data gaps and promotes the importance of gathering current, relevant data. This work will help with identifying the need to provide tools, templates and possibly training to help BIAs to gather needed data easily.
  • Provides a series of recommendations and suggested tools to help establish key future priorities.

These findings are supported by extensive primary and secondary research undertaken by the project team over the past year. This work is detailed in both a Background Research Report and Consultation Report.

Thank you to the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA), Toronto Area Business Improvement Association (TABIA) and Ontario Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), the project team and the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs for making this reporting possible.

You can have a peek at the actual report of their findings here.

Although all BIAs are not created equally, this report gives you an idea of what Ontario BIAs return of investment looks like. In other words, how they are a valuable part of our community.

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