The Heart of Orléans BIA office often receives requests from local businesses asking what they need to do to become a member of our Business Improvement Area. Why is that? Besides the ideal location with its close proximity to the highway and four LRT stations, the Heart of Orléans BIA district offers something unique: an authentic experience of independent businesses banding together to support each other, connection with other business owners and with residents, and a real sense of community.
In addition to the feeling of belonging to something special, the BIA has proven its value in a number of ways that our membership appreciates. This includes beautifying our streetscape , promoting our unique shops and cultural dining opportunities, and the many professional services in the area. In addition, the BIA encourages festivals and events bringing tourists and the larger Ottawa community to the area. The BIA’s ultimate goal is to support our members and community to create a thriving, trendy destination.
Wondering what we’re all about or if the Heart of Orléans is right for your local, small business? Check out the video about us and read below for some of the services we provide to our members.
Marketing and Promotion
- Create a strong and distinct image for the BIA district and markets it effectively allowing it to better compete in an age of big-box retailing and e-commerce.
- Include a targeted menu of area branding & reputation building, specialty campaigns for members, a social media platform that is attractive, relevant and fosters media relations.
- Provide advertising opportunities on our website, in our e-magazine and on banners.
Placemaking and Public Spaces
- Maintain and improve the physical environment of the BIA to ensure that the area is inviting, clean and interesting.
- Work with the city of Ottawa to ensure BIA streets and sidewalks are clean and tidy and/or repaired.
- Improve the area with colourful plantings, graffiti removal, street furniture, public art and lighting.
- Install banners and historical plaques invite visitors to explore the heritage district and soak in the environment.
- Promote the BIA district as a business, employment, tourist, shopping or foodie area (business directories, festivals, advertising)
- Host/sponsor festivals and events
- Promote safety, security and crime prevention initiatives such as partnering with a local community police officer
- Implement graffiti and poster removal services respecting building facades visible from the street
- Contribute to strategic plans for business recruitment, market studies and capital improvements.
- Advocate on behalf of their membership as a unified voice.
- Provide a united, collective voice for our business district to all three levels of government on a monthly basis.
- Obtain a larger and further reach through memberships with the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas (OCOBIA), and the Ontario Business Improvement Association (OBIAA) as well as the Ottawa Board of Trade (OBoT).
- Catalyst for civic improvement and a significant contributor to the City’s economy and the quality of life of our BIA district.
- Obtain access to grants and cost-sharing programs from all three levels of government, which provides funding to BIAs for things like research, streetscape beautification projects and placemaking. These projects help create a more attractive and marketable image for the area and improve the atmosphere in the BIA.
- Provide opportunities to join the conversations, strengthen networks, share best practices, and help small businesses thrive by meeting industry leaders at various networking events.
- Encourage members to learn what happens in our district by providing feedback on events, advocacy, marketing, economic development, streetscape initiatives, and other BIA developed policies by sitting on the board or one of our committees..
- Provide communication through The Heartbeat – our regular member newsletter.
- Encourage attendance and a members right to vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Tools and Resources
- Provide various tools and resources including the Small Business ToolBOX. This collection of info, packaged in manageable bites, helps the business owner answer some of their most pressing questions and tackle challenging issues.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a member of the BIA or how to get more involved, please get in touch with the BIA office. Not a business member? That’s ok too! We are always looking for experienced volunteers on our teams!