Our area is a broad mix of industrial, commercial, retail and residential zoning, with over 200 heritage-designated properties. Many of our members have been in the area for longer than 25 years, making Strathcona one of the most stable commercial districts in Canada.
The SBIA is also increasingly recognized for its Green Zone sustainability initiatives and its collaborative approach to community endeavours.
All SBIA properties zoned Class 5 and Class 6 are subject to City of Vancouver BIA levies, and anyone paying this levy, whether through property tax or within a lease, is automatically a member of the association.
The City’s Community Services BIA home page provides a comprehensive explanation of Business Improvement Associations:
A BIA is a non-profit association of commercial property owners and business tenants who join together to promote and improve the economic vitality of their business district. The City assists by helping the merchants and landlords to form BIAs. Once a BIA is formed, it is managed by a volunteer board comprised of property owners and tenants. BIA funds are used to hire staff and implement BIA activities. The City has a continuing role assisting with contacts between the BIA and City departments, facilitating the annual funding process, and monitoring BIA budgets.
BIAs obtain funding through a special property tax, much like a Local Improvement Levy. Each property owner’s share of the annual BIA budget is proportionate to their share of the total taxable value within the BIA boundaries. In other words, if an owner owns one percent of the total taxable assessed value, their share will be one percent of the BIA budget. In most lease agreements, property owners pass on this cost to the business tenants.
There are currently 22 Business Improvement Areas in the City of Vancouver.