What is a BIA?

The Sechelt Downtown Business Association (SDBA) is comprised of the businesses and organizations located in the downtown Sechelt Business Improvement Area (BIA), which is bounded by:

  • Dolphin Street on the north
  • Wharf Street on the east
  • Teredo Street on the south
  • Ocean Avenue on the west
  • East side of Wharf Street between Highway 101 and Trident

Funds contributed by our members are used to enhance this area of town, to inform the community of the many services and products available, and to encourage businesses to move into the Sechelt downtown area.

Cowrie Street

For both property owners and their tenant businesses, a BIA is an effective way of increasing profits and to organize and finance programs and opportunities that may not otherwise be available to the individual businesses. For the municipality, a BIA shows that a particular sector of the community is motivated and united to improve their businesses and to simulate the economy.

The Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia (BIABC) describes a BIA as follows:

“A Business Improvement Area is a self-help mechanism designed to assist local business people and property owners in upgrading and promoting their business and shopping district to further trade and commerce in their area.  Under the BIA concept, a business community can request to be designated as an improvement area by its municipal council.  Once this is done, the BIA can develop and undertake programs to improve and beautify the Improvement Area.  Tree planting, street furniture, improved parking, flower boxes and baskets, and street banners are typical examples of commercial area public improvements which can be implemented by a BIA.  In addition, BIAs promote their areas as business and/or shopping areas, not just as a group of individual shops, restaurants and offices. Promotional activities may include special events and ongoing advertising programs, which aim to keep the BIA area foremost in the public’s mind as an attractive, pleasant place to shop, to be entertained, to work and to live.”

“The formal designation as a BIA provides a forum for business member participation through the Board of Directors and its committees.  It also allows for a planned program to be developed with an annual budget contributed to by all its members.  The cumulative effect of BIA activities will attract and maintain customers, clients, and shoppers to the commercial area as well as attracting new business to the market.”

 (Taken from the pamphlet “What is a Business Improvement Area?” by BIABC.)

What are the advantages to members of belonging to the SDBA?