Feb 8

Request for Proposal (RFP) – The Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) Website Re-design and Development

This RFP is for the design and development services of an updated website for OBIAA (www.obiaa.com).

Download a PDF version of the complete RFP here.

Plus, download the most recent amendments here. (February 21, 2019)

RFP Posted: February 8th, 2019
Responses Due: March 8th, 2019 @ 5 p.m. ET

Send any questions on the RFP to:

Marlise Nishikihama, Digital Marketing Manager

Email proposals to:

Marlise Nishikihama, Digital Marketing Manager

or Mail to:

Marlise Nishikihama, Digital Marketing Manager
92 Lakeshore Road East
Suite 201
Mississauga, ON
L5G 4S2


Budget for new website: $15K-$20K

Goal for new website launch: During our fiscal Q2 2019, ideally no later than June 28th, 2019



Founded in 2001, the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships. OBIAA represents, supports, and encourages BIAs through membership to increase their effectiveness and their contribution to the economic, cultural, and social well-being of communities across the province. It is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources, and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.

Our membership consists of BIAs of all sizes, some with memberships of less than 100 members to those with over 500 members, and BIAs with budgets of less than $20K to those with budgets of over $1M. OBIAA undertakes research, runs events, and builds awareness on matters affecting small business and the ongoing vitality of our main streets



  1. Current OBIAA members
  2. Prospective BIA members
  3. Municipalities and communities looking to start a BIA
  4. Local Chambers of Commerce
  5. Economic Development Centres
  6. OBIAA National Conference participants – attendees, sponsor, speakers, suppliers
  7. People/organizations participating in or interested in any of our Special Projects i.e., Digital Main Street, Accessibility



Our website, www.obiaa.com, is about five to six years old and clearly needs to be updated/re-designed to provide a more contemporary look and feel with clear navigation and a better user/member experience. OBIAA frequently takes on new projects and the current structure does not allow the website to easily expand to accommodate new/extra content.

In addition, collective feedback from our internal stakeholders, our members, our partners, and current analytics reveals that the website:

  • Is slow to load (4.28s as Ping Website Speed Test);
  • Has a high bounce rate (56.8%);
  • Is outdated in design;
  • Is not as user-friendly as it could be;
  • Contains old/inactive content à is difficult to update/edit content;
  • Should be more mobile-friendly;
  • Needs to be more “social” à make it easy to share and socialize content;
  • Should provide a better member experience à online membership payment;
  • Needs to provide a better platform for special projects and their content;
  • Should incorporate the Annual Conference rather than keep this as a separate microsite.



  1. Increase OBIAA brand awareness
  2. Increase OBIAA memberships
  3. Improve OBIAA member experience and engagement
  4. Drive awareness of OBIAA Special Projects
  5. Make relevant content easy to find
  6. Improve search engine visibility



OBIAA is searching for a website designer/developer to refresh the current website with a new/cleaner look and feel that provides a purposeful connection between design elements, navigation, and content.

In approaching the re-design and development of the website, OBIAA is seeking the following elements and functionality:

  1. Content Management
  • A WordPress-based solution with a template that allows for, but is not limited to, the following functionality: easy editing, email, surveys, feedback, online forms, blogs, commenting, photo galleries, videos, shared resources library (PDF, images, etc.), secure member login area, analytics, search, printing, social media.
  • The Proponent must also advise OBIAA of any ongoing charges or licensing fees associated with the implementation of the chosen WordPress template.
  1. Technical Compatibility
  • A design that is functional with PCs and Macs, in the latest version of all the major browsers – at a minimum:
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Google Chrome
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Safari
    • Opera
  • Must function with our current GoDaddy host
  • Responsive design for all screen sizes
  1. Intuitive navigation with bread crumb path


  1. A clean, fresh design that makes optimal use of white space


  1. Content layout optimized with SEO best practices


  1. Social media integration (share buttons, follow buttons, etc.) for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn


  1. Website analytics – Google Analytics must be integrated on the site to allow for all aspects of tracking


  1. Self-maintainable pages that allow OBIAA to update the information in areas such as:
  • BIA Info
    • Why a BIA
    • Start a BIA
  • Membership Info
    • Membership application and payment
    • Membership renewal and payment
  • News
    • Newsletters and newsletter sign-up
    • Blog postings
  • Calendar of events
  • Contact Us
  • About OBIAA
  1. Special Project pages/section – ability to add/delete/archive content for each special project
  • Current Projects
    • Accessibility
    • Digital Main Street
    • Annual Conference – including event registration and reporting
    • PERL and Open for Business
  • Past Projects
    • Return on Investment
  • Future Projects
    • Sponsorship (Corporate) Opportunities
  1. Separate/secure OBIAA members only login area that will allow for:
  • Document posting and sharing
  • Searchable member listing
  • Bulletin board – marketplace where members are able to post items for sale or trade
  • Membership benefits – supplier catalogue, member discounts, etc.
  1. Site map / Search the site capability


  1. Plug-ins or third party apps that will allow for:
  • Event management/scheduling/calendar
  • Member registration/renewal and searchable member directory
  1. E-commerce – ability to accept payment using major credit cards for the following:
  • Event registration for participants, exhibitors
  • Member registration/renewal
  1. All applicable content will need to be imported from the current site – OBIAA will provide the selected developer with existing content files, PDFs, and any other source files needed.



Training – The successful Proponent will provide training to website administrators on how to maintain/update/edit the new website. The successful Proponent will also be responsible for developing any reference documentation.

Site Launch – The new website will be launched after the test results have been verified and accepted by OBIAA.



OBIAA expects that its staff will maintain and update the redesigned site.  Therefore, all source code, artwork and pictures should be provided in a form that can be modified by OBIAA staff. OBIAA will have full copyright of the website. It is preferable that the sight be developed with readily available tools. If there are major additions or changes to the content, OBIAA would like the developer to be able to supply ongoing maintenance. In order to minimize inconsistency in the look and feel of the site, OBIAA would like the developer to create a site that is easily updateable by OBIAA staff, not only in terms of page content, but also in terms of the navigation bar and menus. The proposal should include regular ongoing support in maintaining  the site, as well as necessary staff training.



At a minimum, proposals should include the following:

  1. Ideas for design and implementation
  2. A mock-up home page for OBIAA.com (optional)
  3. Project development timelines
  4. An overview of the vendor company, including any key differentiators/specialties
  5. A description of the project team and each individual’s qualifications and experience
  6. Cost estimates, including a breakdown of hourly and per diem rates, and any terms and conditions
  7. A payment schedule based on specific deliverables and/or milestones
  8. Descriptions of comparable projects you have been involved with
  9. Client references from similar projects
  10. A summary of your process for development, including anticipated involvement and time requirements on OBIAA staff


If you have any questions you would like answered before developing the proposal, please contact Marlise Nishikihama at marlise@obiaa.com

Please note that all questions and answers will be shared with all vendors who express interest in submitting a proposal.



The main contact at OBIAA will be Marlise Nishikihama, Digital Marketing Manager. The proposals will be reviewed by the OBIAA Website Review Team

Depending on the proposals that are received, OBIAA may request a meeting to aid in the selection process. Upon selection, the developer will work primarily with Marlise Nishikihama, Digital Marketing Manager



Proponents will fully describe their proposed fee structure.  Proponents must clearly quote any additional charges that may be applicable that have not already been addressed in their Proposal. Any recommended additional or optional modules/plug-ins or 3rd party applications that can integrate with the website i.e., for event management, membership enrollment/payment, should be listed as a separate line item with applicable costs .

Regular ongoing support should be listed as separate line item as a monthly fee or total annual cost.

The fee shall include HST as a separate line item.  Also, include a list of chargeable disbursements, with unit costs and an estimate of their total cost.

As an alternative, Proponents may suggest that disbursements be paid as a percentage of the total fee (excluding HST), in which case the percentage must be identified, as well as the extent of disbursements covered by such percentage.  Hourly and Per Diem Rates for all staff must be provided.  These rates will form the basis for agreed variations in services.

Clearly note what costs are not included or allowed for.



OBIAA will use the following criteria to select the appropriate developer:

  1. Efficiency of approach
  2. Training and Support
  3. Demonstration of meeting timelines
  4. Proven experience
  5. Location – Toronto/GTA-based vendors will be given priority
  6. References
  7. Cost



The RFP may be amended only by an addendum in accordance with this section. If OBIAA, for any reason, determines that it is necessary to provide additional information relating to the RFP, such information will be communicated to all proponents by addenda and posted to the OBIAA website. Each addendum forms an integral part of the RFP.


RFP AND PROJECT TIMELINE DETAILS (all dates are tentative)

RFP Posted:  February 8th, 2019

Proposals Due:  March 8th, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET by emailing marlise@obiaa.com

Submissions Reviewed; Finalists Selected, Contacted and Interviewed:  March 11th – April 12th, 2019

Vendor Selected and Contacted:  Week of April 15th, 2019

Project Kick-off: Week of April 22nd, 2019 or earlier

New Website Launch Target Date:  Week of June 3, 2019


Please note: Only short-listed vendors will be contacted. OBIAA may select a short list of up to three (3) firms for a presentation interview, as part of the selection process.

Thank you for your interest in responding to this RFP for our new website. We look forward to your response.