Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are specially funded business districts. The districts are managed by non-profit groups of property owners and business tenants whose goal is to promote and improve their business district. Vancouver has 22 BIAs.
BIAs are active in their communities, promoting business, tourism, safety, and street beautification.
We help local business groups to form BIAs. Once a BIA is formed, it is managed by a volunteer board elected by property owners and tenants within its boundary.
We are involved with the annual funding process, monitor BIA budgets, and act as a liaison between the BIA and City departments.
Funding for BIAs comes from a special property tax. Each commercial property within the boundary is taxed in proportion to its total taxable value. This means that if a property owner owns one percent of the total taxable value, their share will be one percent of the BIA budget. In most lease agreements, property owners pass this cost on to the business tenants.
BIA funds are used to hire staff and run BIA activities.
View the Council report detailing the 2016-2017 BIA budget:
Together with BIAs, we created the Commercial Renovation Centre to help small businesses work their way through our zoning and development permit process when considering renovations, relocation, or starting a new business in Vancouver.
Find information on how to start a Business Improvement Area (BIA) in your neighbourhood.
View information on grants and funding for arts and culture, strong communities, and sustainability.
BIA Program Coordinator