The principal function of the BIA is to increase business by improving the physical environment in downtown Perth through the development of special events, beautification, promotion and advertising. The BIA provides a mechanism for lobbying, organizing and financing programs that would not be available to independent businesses by other means.Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Business Improvement Area?
A Business Improvement Area, or BIA, is an association of business people and landowners who have joined together to promote their mutual interests. A BIA is established through a by-law passed by the municipal council at the request of the local business community. A BIA covers a specific geographic area. In Perth, this area is the downtown core and includes approximately 150 members.
How Does the BIA get its money?
The BIA is financed by a special levy on municipal taxes. Every property in the designated area is automatically included in the membership and contributes to the BIA¡¯s budget. An individual levy is based on the overall property assessment of the building and is sent to the property owner who can download it to business tenants according to the terms of their lease. The levy is collected by the municipality from landowners, but is administered by the BIA to implement its program of activities. The BIA receives an annual grant from the Town of Perth to cover a portion of its operating costs. Extra funds are raised through sponsorships to support festivals and special events. The BIA also charges participation fees for special meetings, some beautification projects and co-op advertising campaigns in order to break even. An annual budget is presented to members at the BIA Fall General Meeting.
What Type of Projects Does the BIA Work On?
Beautification is a primary focus of the Perth BIA. On-going projects include: landscaping, tree planting, hanging baskets and flower barrels, banners, Christmas wreaths and lights, and signage.
The downtown business district is a unique and vibrant area which the BIA aggressively markets to tourists, residents and other businesses. The BIA advertises Perth as a town of many festivals, live entertainment and heritage as well as a quality shopping and dining destination. The Downtown Heritage Perth BIA promotes tourism in the downtown core by organizing and promoting special events such as the Stewart Park Festival, The Festival of Good Cheer and the Festival of Lights.
How Can You Contact the BIA?
Heather Hansgen is the Downtown Heritage Perth BIA Coordinator a part-time paid professional staff person.
The Perth BIA has an office located at 80 Gore Street East, in the Town Hall. Office hours are Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The mailing address is 80 Gore Street East, Perth, Ontario, K7H 1H9. The telephone number is 613-267-3311 ext. 2251 or 613-264-1190. You can also send e-mail to email@example.com