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, selfgoverning, grassroots organizations which operate within in a defined geographic area. The City assists and oversees interested merchant communities with formalized start up procedures. Once a BIA is formed, it is managed by a volunteer board of property owners and tenants, which uses BIA funds to hire staff and implement BIA activities.
BIAs obtain funding through a special property levy, much like a Local Improvement Levy. The City has an ongoing role: facilitating the annual funding process, collecting the levy from individual businesses on our behalf and remitting to the BIA Board annually following member approval of draft annual budgets, and monitoring annual budgets.
INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY OWNERS
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 the majority of lease agreements, property owners pass on the BIA costs to the business tenants.
The history of BIAs
BIAs first emerged in 1970 – in Toronto actually – as well as in Los Angeles.
In the late 1960’s, Toronto’s inner city was struggling with suburban sprawl as commuting cars began to fill up once vital commercial streets. A few volunteer merchant associations existed but they were not very successful, since budgets tended to be minimal. Street-front commercial areas were suffering as malls were increasing in popularity.
Bloor Street West merchants got together to look into how they could compete with “the mall.” They found that all mall tenants were required to contribute Common Area Maintenance Fees, which were used for promotions to draw in customers. They then worked with City of Toronto to develop a special BIA levy – so that individual merchants could pool their resources in a similar way, and create effective marketing programs.
The growth of BIAs
Vancouver’s first BIAs were formed in 1989 – in Gastown and Mount Pleasant, for similar reasons to Bloor West. BIAs are now located around the world, including Canada, the US, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany and the U.K. There are more than 1,000 BIAs in the U.S. and hundreds in Canada, including 64 in British Columbia alone.
The contemporary role of BIAs
Today’s BIAs do more than provide a common brand and voice for businesses. We also benefit the broader communities and the city as a whole through our contributions to street beautification, street safety, community events and sponsorships.
Every BIA is unique in their focus, priorities and approach… just like the businesses they represent. Through partnerships with other BIAs, community organizations and support to city departments, BIAs are a catalyst for positive change, helping to address broader planning, economic and social initiatives.
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. More than 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 SGBIA represents:
425 member businesses and property owners
$777 million in assessed commercial property value
$10.7 million in annual commercial property taxes
$615,500 BIA annual budget (2016)
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 for vibrancy and prosperity in the area through advocacy, marketing, events, improvements and co-operative initiatives.