What is a Business Improvement Area?
A Business Improvement Area, or BIA, is an association of business people and landowners who together promote their mutual interests. The Millbrook BIA was established through a by-law passed by the Municipal Council and is regulated through the Municipal Act, Section 204.
Minutes and Agendas
Millbrook Business Improvement Area
"Millbrook Business Improvement Area is an association of businesses that joined together to promote mutual interests, increase sales and profits, promote a more successful and active business environment, create a more beautiful community and encourage a sense of civic pride."
The principal function of the Millbrook BIA is to increase business by improving the physical environment in Millbrook through the development of special events, beautification, promotion and advertising. The Millbrook BIA provides a mechanism for lobbying, organizing and financing programs that would not be available to independent businesses by other means.
How does the Millbrook BIA get financial support?
Within the Millbrook BIA district, there is a special levy on the municipal taxes, which is designed to support designated properties. Every property, which lies within the designated area, is automatically included as a member of the Millbrook BIA and contributes to the annual budget. Each year the levy, for the Millbrook BIA, is collected by the municipality from the landowners. The levy is then transferred to the Millbrook BIA for the implementation of programs and activities. Extra funds for the Millbrook BIA are generated through sponsorships to help support local festivals and special events in the area.
Millbrook BIA hosts a variety of special events to cover all four seasons. These events are used to make Millbrook a viable tourist destination throughout the year. Some of the events that have been a part of Millbrook are Spring in the Valley, Millbrook Fair and Parade, the Millbrook Car Show, Ladies' Night, Scarecrow Festival, Christmas in the Village, and the Santa Claus Parade.
One of the primary objectives of the Millbrook BIA is to focus on making the Millbrook beautiful. Some of the current projects that enhance the beauty of Millbrook are the hanging flower baskets in the downtown, town banners, special events decorating, decorative scarecrows, and Christmas decorations and lights. In a joint project with the Township of Cavan Monaghan and the Community Futures Development Corporation, Millbrook is undertaking a Downtown Revitalization. Part of this project is to highlight on physical improvements to the downtown core. This will help restore the beauty to heritage buildings, provide more opportunities for green space, and exemplify the existing beauty of Millbrook.
Promotion and Advertising
The Millbrook BIA works in conjunction with local businesses to aggressively promote and market Millbrook as a unique and vibrant area for tourists, residents, and other businesses. Millbrook is advertised as a place that provides a quality shopping experience while enjoying the wide variety of scenic heritage. The Millbrook BIA mainly focuses on promoting special events and businesses in the area through newspapers, posters and banners, television, radio, websites and social media forums. On a yearly basis, the Millbrook BIA produces a brochure indicating all local businesses in the downtown core while promoting special events. The brochures can be found at many of the business locations in Millbrook and at the Township of Cavan Monaghan municipal office.