Since 1981 the Bracebridge Business Improvement Area (BIA) has been building a vibrant and prosperous business community. Now made up of over 200 diverse businesses, the BIA continues to grow.
What is a BIA?
A Business Improvement Area is a geographic commercial or industrial area that is designated by a municipality. The area is chosen as a place of business promotion, improvement and recruitment.
The joining of many businesses under a geographic umbrella affords businesses and property owners the ability to work together in support of their community. Led by a board of management, and with the support of a municipality, a BIA works to improve marketing and beautification. BIAs may also create a pleasant seasonal environment and they also may run special events.
The main goal of a BIA is to encourage shopping, dinning, entertainment, and financial and professional services in a central area. BIAs strive to create a unique experience for businesses and patrons alike, thus creating loyal clientele and a vibrant community.
How big is the Bracebridge BIA?
Currently, the BIA is located along Manitoba Street, from Ontario Street to just passed Monck Road. It also extends to the streets which are situated on both sides of Manitoba Street and also includes a portion of Ecclestone Drive. We are approximately 200 members strong.
What does the Bracebridge BIA offer?
All Bracebridge BIA membership programs and services spring from the association’s two core mandates:
- To improve, beautify and maintain public lands and buildings within the BIA district, beyond that which is provided for by the municipality at large; and
- To promote the area within the BIA boundary as a business and shopping area.
To serve our membership, and meet our objectives for downtown Bracebridge, we offer a wide variety of programs and services in the areas of m marketing, advertisement and promotion;
- Education and advocacy;
- Communications and information;
- Façade and Signage Programs
- Housing Rehabilitation Grant/Loan
- Building Improvement Grant/Loan
You may review financial incentive programs offered by the Town of Bracebridge;
BIA BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
The BIA Board of Management is voted into their positions by their fellow BIA members. The election takes place in November of the year that the Municipal Election takes place and is a term of 4 years. If you are interested in becoming involved, there are many committees that the membership is encouraged to join. Please contact the BIA office to find out how you can become involved. Have your say, its your Downtown!
If you need to contact any of the BIA Board of Management please do not hesitate o call them. However, you can contact the BIA office at 705 646-5590 with any ques2ons , problems and/or concerns. We will be sure to direct your inquiry to the Board.
Your current BIA Board of Directors
BIA MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Blade (Perpendicular) Signage Guidelines and Program
Downtown is becoming more colourful with the introduction of specialty Blade Signs providing increased store front advertising and visibility to on-coming vehicular and pedestrian traffic. These signs will greatly enhance the appearance and visual presence of businesses in the downtown. The BIA in partnership with the Town of Bracebridge Signage Program offers cost saving opportunities for these types of signs. (Provide a link to the Guideline package and permit information)
Every quarter BIA releases an electronic newsletter featuring upcoming events in the downtown core. Furthermore weekly emails keep the membership informed of what is happening with the BIA area.
The BIA assists member businesses and other organizations in creating an inviting and vital atmosphere in downtown Bracebridge by sponsoring and/or producing events in the downtown area. Events run by the BIA include; Father’s Day Car Show, Midnight Madness Street Festival, Colourfest Street Fair, Santa’s Moonlight Shopping Party Featuring the Festival of the Lights.
The Bracebridge BIA works with other community stakeholders, primarily Town Council and Administration, to develop strategies to improve downtown Bracebridge as a great place to live, invest and visit.
Co-operative Advertising/Marketing Opportunities
The BIA offers a variety of ways to maximize your advertising/ marketing dollar by offering several opportunities through co-operative ventures. The BIA is currently investigating several models for co-operative advertising, on behalf of its membership. If you are interested in this or any other co-operative advertising or marketing model, please contact the BIA office.
- Seasonal Flowers
- Lampost Light Displays
- Seasonal Street Decorations
How can I get involved?
To be a member of the BIA you must operate a business or own property within the BIA boundaries. As a member you will automatically be entitled to help improve “Muskoka’s Downtown”. Volunteers are always welcome for beautification, special events or as elected board of management members.