Roughly 130 Kanata businesses are poised to unite under a new banner this year after a city committee endorsed a budget and appointed a board for the Kanata Central Business Improvement Area.
The financial and economic development committee approved an operating budget of $157,500 for the new regional organization. The city pays back businesses’ membership fees to comprise the budget, in addition to a $7,500 grant.
The new BIA’s boundaries stretch from Carp River in the west, Campeau Drive to the north and Highway 417 to the south, going as far as Great Lakes Avenue with a few apartment buildings and nursing homes excluded.
Businesses in the area, including a Canadian Tire and Marriott Hotel, have a combined value of approximately $330 million, according to OBJ’s interview with Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson in November.
Coun. Wilkinson said then that the modest initial budget would primarily go towards marketing and background studies to establish the BIA’s most effective uses.
The Kanata Central BIA follows the example set by its Kanata North neighbour, which formed its business association in 2012. Since then, the BIA has held job fairs and diplomatic tours for its many high-tech member businesses.
Coun. Wilkinson was appointed as the city’s representative to the Kanata Central BIA, and Adam Stuart of the Canadian Tire will serve as the inaugural chair.
The 18 existing BIAs and the Sparks Street Mall Authority each had their budgets approved by the committee. The Somerset Village and Downtown Rideau BIAs each saw increases of approximately 17 per cent in their levies from fiscal 2016 to 2017, the largest increases of any BIA.