A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is made up of local businesses who join together to carry out improvements and promote economic development within a designated area. There are currently over 80 BIAs in Toronto, and Willowdale seeks to create a BIA of its own to support the large and diverse business community.
BIAs have access to exclusive City grant programs such as capital cost-sharing, facade improvements, graffiti and vandalism repair, and construction mitigation.
Strengthen Local Business
BIAs can advocate on behalf of the local community and help attract new customers through large scale marketing, promotions and community events.
Yonge Street REimagined
As a unified voice we can have more say in the design process & how it
would impact the business community along the Yonge Street corridor. The business community will also need to prepare for the 2-3 year construction on Yonge Street. With a BIA, business owners can rally together for initiatives to mitigate the effect on businesses.
Cost of BIA
Once the BIA members approve the budget at the annual general meeting and City Council ratifies it, funds are raised through a levy on all commercial properties within the BIA’s boundary. Calculation of this levy is based on the proportionate value of each property’s commercial and/or industrial assessment. Once the City collects the levy, it returns the funds to the BIA to manage and deliver projects in the designated business community. Many BIAs also apply for grants or undertake capital-cost shared projects with the City.
The steering committee proposed the following boundaries for the BIA, which include all businesses and commercial properties within them:
North: Hendon / Bishop Ave
East: Kenneth / Doris Ave to Bonnington Pl to Tradewind Ave
South: Ontario Hwy 401
West: Beecroft Rd to Yonge St to Linelle St
Learn More >>
How is a BIA Funded?
To address the second most common question, we would like to provide you with information that may help clarify the levies that businesses will be providing to the BIA, once it is established. It is important to state that a BIA’s levy is not in any way associated with taxes. Rather, the levy of a BIA is based on the assessment carried out by MPAC for each commercial property and is utilized by the BIA Board of Management, made up of local business owners and leaders, to directly support the businesses within the BIA’s boundaries.
We are proposing a levy rate of 0.03 to 0.04 percent per $100 of assessed property value. This will be one the lowest levies by any of the other 83 BIA’s in Toronto.
For more information on the value of BIAs, please see the Ontario Association of Business Improvement Areas Return on Investment of BIAs Report.