The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) Board of Directors met with the Government of Ontario’s Open For Business Roundtable on Wednesday January 15th 2014 at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in Toronto to present five priorities that affect Main Street businesses in Ontario.

The Ontario Open For Business Roundtable included: Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment (now Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure) Honourable Dr Eric Hoskins and staff Deputy Minister Wendy Tilford, Assistant Deputy Minister, Open For Business Katherine Hewson, Assistant Deputy Minister Accessibility Directorate of Ontario Ann Hoy, Policy Advisor Rachel Levy. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport Assistant Deputy Minister Richard McKinnell. The Ministry of Government Services/Service Ontario; Deputy Minister & CEO of Service Ontario Frank D’Onofrio, Assistant Deputy Minister, Business Improvement Bev Hawton. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Deputy Minister Laurie LeBlanc, Assistant Deputy Minister, Housing, Janet Hope, Chief of Staff Hasneet Punia and Senior Advisor, Devan Sommerville.
“Our government is pleased to join forces and work with the Ontario BIA Association to address the key priorities of Main Street Ontario businesses,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. “The Main Street business community is an important aspect of Ontario’s economy, and we are committed to collaborating with the BIA Association and broader business community to create an inviting business climate to facilitate job creation and economic growth in the province.”

OBIAA presented five priorities that included:

(1) Providing clarity and improving awareness of compliance obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

(2) Improving understanding and engagement on the Tourism Oriented Directional Signs (TODS) Program

(3) Building collaborative relationships and partnerships with Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs)

(4) Streamlining and simplifying information related to Festivals and Events permitting

(5) Establishing an OBIAA forum for working across provincial government.
Each priority is being championed by an OBIAA Board member who has been teamed up with the appropriate Ministry senior staff person and team to see through the implementation. The result of this work has been an improvement in communication, process and connection to our Main Street businesses. This public/private partnership stands to set the foundation to support and vitalize Downtowns in Ontario.
“The Board of the Ontario BIA Association is proud of the work done to date and excited about the launch of the Ontario Open for Business publication. Working with Open For Business has been a significant step for Main Street businesses; it gives us a real presence and our economic impact can be communicated” stated OBIAA President Ellen Timms.

The OBIAA represents over 60,000 businesses set up within the Main Streets of Downtowns in Ontario.
Media Contact: Kay Matthews, Executive Director | OBIAA
Contact Information: [email protected] | 1-866-807-2227 | 647-521-5341

Province of Ontario Media Report Links:

ABOUT: ONTARIO OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Open for Business is Ontario’s initiative to create faster, smarter and streamlined government-to-business services and to establish a modern system of government. It’s a key part of the Ontario government’s commitment to make the Province more attractive to business while continuing to protect the public interest. Open for Business has three key areas of focus: Modern Government – create a streamlined and focused regulatory environment that delivers results for business, while protecting public interest; Modern Services – deliver better products, including service standards that support business needs; New Relationship with Business – create an open and responsive working relationship between business and government.

ABOUT: ONTARIO BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT AREA ASSOCIATION (OBIAA): OBIAA, since 2001, acts as an important resource for education, partnership and collaboration to each BIA across the province. OBIAA recognizes the power of networking, the strength in numbers and the value of sharing common concerns and finding resolutions specific to our individual communities.
OBIAA, through membership, represents, supports and encourages business improvement areas to increase their effectiveness and their contribution to the economic, cultural and social well-being of communities in Ontario.

Share this story with your network.