What is a Business Improvement Area?
A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a “made-in-Ontario” innovation that allows local business people and commercial property owners and tenants to join together. It is governed by a board of management and with the support of the municipality will organize, finance and deploy physical improvement and promote economic development in their district.
In Ontario there are now almost 300 BIAs representing over 60,000 small businesses. By working collectively as a BIA, local businesses have the organizational and reliable funding capacity to be catalysts for improvement, thereby enhancing the quality of life in their local neighbourhoods and municipalities as a whole.
The Downtown Acton BIA
The Downtown Acton Business Improvement Area is a not-for-profit association which was officially established in 1977. The BIA Board, which include one member of the Town Council, meets monthly to govern the organization. Various committees are organized to fulfill the BIA’s mandate and to develop activities and events. A manager, who reports to the BIA Board, is employed along with a student for the summer months.
BIA initiated improvements and activities help to create and sustain a vibrant economic environment in Downtown Acton which attracts visitors and local customers. This will in turn attract commercial and service sector businesses and positively increase the demand for retail and office space in the downtown area.
The Acton BIA strives to increase community interest and pride through events such the Leathertown Festival and the Winter Carnival. Drives on-going cooperation and communication among members of the business community, Town Council and Town Staff. Advocate membership interests and concerns with municipal and other levels of government. Provide increased cost savings through improved integration of capital funding and promotional activities.
The area or district in Acton is essentially the downtown area bordered by a block west of Main St. (about 2 blocks north & south at Main St.) and continues along Mill (a block north and south) and is bordered on the east by the rail crossing (also encompassing the Olde Hide House. Please see the map on this site for the specific area).
Operations & funding
The Acton BIA submits an annual budget to the Town of Halton Hills for approval by Council. The funding is provided through a pay levy that is based on the assessment of the property within the BIA area. This information is available to BIA members at any time.