Q. What is the history of the Wingham BIA?
A. The Wingham BIA was formed in January 2013 as the result of months of research and meetings with other communities. The Wingham BIA is run by a volunteer Board – a dedicated group of individuals is committed to making every visit to our town a positive experience to remember. From the beautifully appointed window displays to the friendly, personalized service, to the architecture of our shops, we treasure every moment you share with us.
Q. Who runs a BIA?
A. The membership of a BIA elects a Board to oversee the activities of the BIA. Voting is done at the AGM (Annual General Meeting). The elected Board is then approved by Council.
Q. What does it cost?
A. There are 2 ways a BIA is usually funded. One is based on assessed value of property and the other is a set levy with a minimum and maximum rate. Wingham’s BIA rate is a levy range of $150 to $350 based on property assessment. This was done because it was felt that a straight assessment fee was too expensive for business owners. The levy is assessed annually to the property owner, on the property tax bill, and can be absorbed by the owner, shared with the business tenant or passed on to the business tenant.
Q. If my business isn’t on the main street of a community, what’s in it for me?
A. The goal of a BIA is to improve the overall business aspects of a community. It’s true that the main street of a town receives a lot of notice, but that’s because it’s the most travelled street in most towns. A strong main street presence translates into a positive message sent to visitors and investors about what the rest of the community has to offer. A formal BIA also gives all businesses the power to vote on improvements, promotions and events for community improvement. That’s a voice that’s not possible without a BIA in place.
Q. What prevents annual levy costs from rising once the BIA is in place?
A. The rate cannot be raised without a majority vote by the BIA members. You may have heard stories of drastic rate increases in other towns, but these are either false or were voted in by their respective memberships.