The Ottawa Business Journal ran an interesting op-ed piece by Mischa Kaplan on the efficacy of business improvement areas:
Only time will tell whether the Kanata Central BIA will prove its worth. Certainly, there are some impressive success stories to act as promising precedent – for example, the Kanata North BIA (which acts as a micro-booster for Ottawa’s tech community) is often held up as a model of a successful economic development organization that punches far above its weight.
But for every BIA that functions with a clear mandate and produces impressive tangible economic results, there is another which struggles to create meaningful impact and value for its members.
In the majority of these cases, the problem is not with ineffective staff or a disengaged membership, but rather a lack of need for a BIA in the first place. There is undoubtedly an argument to be made that a BIA can have an immensely positive impact on a business community, but it is much more difficult to make the case that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to local economic development or that the BIA model is the ideal solution for every situation.
To read the whole article in the OBJ, click here.
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