Study to establish the economic and social value of
Business Improvement Areas to Ontario’s communities.

Mississauga, ON – July 26, 2016.  The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), who together represent over 300 of Ontario’s Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), today announced the launch of the Return ON Investment of BIAs Study to assess the impact that BIAs have on the health of Ontario’s communities and the province itself.

This important study, funded with the support of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, will identify the common success factors needed by BIAs, industry and government to assess the contribution of BIAs to their communities.  Factors will include economic, social and cultural indicators that can be used for economic development and municipal planning in a rapidly changing environment.

“There are more than 300 BIAs in Ontario representing a combined budget in excess of $45,000,000, as well as more than 60,000 businesses and 30,000 property owners,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of OBIAA. “This study will help us establish the vital and integral role that BIAs and their members play in the success of their communities and how they can become even more effective.”

The study will look at both BIAs as member organizations as well as the districts and areas themselves.  Participants will include BIAs and their members, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Culture and Ontario municipal governments across the province.

“Since the early 1970s when the first one was established, BIAs have become the champions for Ontario’s shopping and business districts,” said Steve Black, Mayor of Timmins, ON.  “We are excited about the Return ON Investment of BIAs Study and how it will enhance our future ability to measure their impact, plan for future success and enhance their already considerable value.”

The study participants will work to identify the economic, social and cultural indicators throughout the next nine months.  The final report will be presented at OBIAA’s National Conference in April 2017.


OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario.  The Association, incorporated in 2001, supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships.  OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.


TABIA is a non-profit umbrella organization representing the City of Toronto’s 82 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) who in turn represent over 40,000 small businesses and property owners. BIAs are responsible for the development of their commercial neighbourhoods and are a diverse and vibrant collection of ethnic, historic and business locations, combining to make Toronto a veritable City of Neighbourhoods.

For more information, please contact:
Kay Matthews
Executive Director
[email protected]

Sarah Millar
Project Manager
FOTENN Planning + Design
[email protected]

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