Located just a few minutes away from downtown Vancouver and easily accessible from all over the Lower Mainland, South Granville is an inviting neighbourhood full of attractions for all tastes.
For gourmet lovers, South Granville boasts a variety of fascinating stores and award-winning restaurants, while fashionistas can shop the latest trends in the many designer boutiques. Lovers of fine art or beautiful interiors will equally be delighted by the many galleries, antique collections and designer décor stores across the neighbourhood.
With something always to surprise, entertain and delight, South Granville offers a wealth of activities to enjoy. While you might simply come to enjoy a coffee or browse the many stores around, you’ll soon find yourself tempted to linger for a gallery viewing or perhaps meet friends for dinner. That’s what makes South Granville unique as a neighbourhood – come for an hour or the day and there’s always something to do.
WHAT IS A BIA?
Business Improvement Associations are self-funded, self-governing and grassroots-based organizations that are established through a network of like-minded businesses, operating within a specified geographic region.
The City offers businesses assistance in forming BIAs, but once formed, it is managed entirely by a volunteer board of property owners and tenants. BIAs also have funds available to hire additional staff and implement related activities.
BIA funding is made available through a property levy, in a similar manner to a Local Improvement Levy. The City facilitates an annual funding process to collect the levy from individual businesses, and remitting payments to the BIA Board annually, following member approval of draft annual budgets, and completing monitoring of annual budgets.
INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY OWNERS
The share of each individual property owner of the annual BIA budget will be proportional to their share of the total taxable value within the BIA boundaries – if an owner owns one percent of the total taxable value, their share will correlate to one percent of the BIA budget.
Many property owners pass on this cost to their business tenants.
The history of BIAs
BIAs first emerged in Toronto in the late 1960s, as well as in Los Angeles. Facing an inner city struggling with suburban growth and commuting traffic, vital commercial streets were becoming excessively congested. While some volunteer merchant associations existed, they faced a minimal budget and were not particularly successful. This resulted in degradation for street-front commercial properties, while malls grew in popularity.
A group of merchants from Bloor Street West joined forces to compete with malls, and found that mall tenants were required to contribute Common Area Maintenance Fees, used for promotions to draw in customers.
This group then worked with the City of Toronto to establish a BIA levy, to allow individual merchants to pool their resources in a similar way, and create effective marketing programs.
The growth of BIAs
The first BIAs were formed in 1989 in Gastown and Mount Pleasant, under similar circumstances to Bloor West. BIAs are now found across the world, including Canada, the US, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany and the UK. There are over 1,000 BIAs in the US alone, and hundreds in Canada, including 64 in British Columbia.
The contemporary role of BIAs
BIAs today provide more than a unified brand for businesses – they also benefit the broader community around them through their contributions to street beautification, street safety, community events and sponsorship.
By partnering with other organizations and giving support to city departments, BIA also act as a catalyst for positive change, helping to facilitate broader planning, economic and social initiatives. Overall, each BIA is unique in its focus, priorities and approach.
THE SOUTH GRANVILLE BIA
The South Granville BIA is geographically defined by the boundaries of Granville Street from 5th Avenue to 16th Avenue (N/S) and to the laneways on the east and west side of Granville. We also represent businesses on the south side of Broadway between Granville and Fir.
The SGBIA is not the first merchant association in our area. Over sixty years ago, at a luncheon meeting at the I.O.O.F. Hall on West 8th Avenue, a “business men’s association of the merchants of South Granville” was formed. One of their first official acts was to approve street decorations for the King’s visit during the summer of 1939.
In what the Province newspaper called “an ambitious scheme”, they agreed to decorate eleven blocks of South Granville Street with streamers, flags and a special Royal welcome banner, stretched across Granville at 12th Avenue. The cost for the project was $450.00.
The current SGBIA represents:
– 425 member businesses and property owners
– $741.3 million in assessed property value (commercial only)
– $10.62 million in annual commercial property taxes
– $600,000 BIA annual budget (2015)
Our objective is to help make South Granville the destination of choice for Metro Vancouver residents for shopping, dining, entertainment, and other services; and to act as a catalyst in generating vibrancy and prosperity in the area, through advocacy, marketing, events, improvements and co-operative initiatives.