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, OBIAA and 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.
Funded with the support of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Return ON Investment of BIAs Report identifies the common success factors and indicators needed by BIAs, industry and government to assess the contribution of BIAs to their communities. Indicators include economic, social and cultural indicators that can be used for economic development and municipal planning in a rapidly changing environment. The report sets as a benchmark for BIAs across the province 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.
OBIAA, TABIA and Ontario’s BIAs wish to express their gratitude to the Project team, the Advisory Committee, the Toronto Entertainment District BIA, the City of Toronto and especially the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs for their collaboration and support and for hearing the collective voice of all BIAs.