Following a counter petition process to renew the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society (Sidney BIA), the Town of Sidney approved the renewal of the BIA for another five-year term at the March 13, 2017 Council meeting. “I am happy to see that the Sidney BIA has been approved for another five-year term with a 94% approval rating by property owners!”says Mayor Price.
“This is a strong indication that the business community supports and sees value in the BIA and the programs and services they bring to their members and the community as a whole. Local merchants and events have experienced positive numbers and economic benefits since the BIA’s incorporation five years ago. I am confident that the work of the BIA, along with Council’s steadfast focus and effort on continuously improving our community, places Sidney at the top of the CRD as a place to live, work, stay and play.”
The Sidney BIA was first established in 2013 after a group of concerned business owners experienced lack-luster business growth following the 2008 financial crisis. They recognized that a sustainable, long-term solution had to be found to attract people to Sidney. A BIA model seemed the best fit.
Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are specially funded through a levy on all commercial properties in the BIA district. Their goal is to promote and improve the business district in a variety of ways. They are managed by a non-profit society of property and business owners who serve in a volunteer capacity. The City of Vancouver has 22 BIAs and there are nine on Vancouver Island including Downtown Victoria, Oak Bay, Duncan, Parksville, Nanaimo, Comox, Courtenay, Chemainus and Sidney.
“We are so pleased with this outcome and look forward to our continued collaboration with BIA members, community organizations, the Town of Sidney, and the media to increase footsteps to Sidney’s downtown, support our members, and continue to contribute to Sidney’s growing economic vitality,” says Susan Simosko, President and Chair of the Sidney BIA.
Over its initial five-year term, the SBIA has continued to generate both interest and good will among Sidney businesses. As Murray Christian, a property owner, recently put it, “When the BIA was first proposed and then implemented, I was very skeptical as to what good it would do for our businesses, let alone justify the cost. But I have been very impressed by the efforts and the many successes of the Sidney BIA. Now, it’s very hard to imagine Sidney without it! ”
The Sidney BIA is a non profit organization whose mandate is to increase footsteps, potential customers, clients and event attendees in all sectors within the SBIAS district through the development, implementation and evaluation of marketing, promotion and other communication and collaborative efforts.