All the businesses on the Hespeler Village website are member of the Hespeler B.I.A. (Business Improvement Area) The B.I.A. is a specific business area with a distinct boundary. In this case they are the businesses in the downtown core of Hespeler Village.
A BIA is a non profit organization that is monitored by the municipality and guided by the Ontario Municipal Act. All members of a BIA pay a yearly levy that is included in their property taxes and the levy monies are used to promote and beautify the BIA area. We do however have associate members. These are members whose businesses or properties are adjacent to the BIA area or close by who wish to take advantage of a BIA membership and all Associate members receive the same benefits as regular BIA members except they are not allowed to vote at the AGM, or sit on the board of directors.
BIAs were first developed in the late 1970s and now there are over 250 of them in Ontario alone. The vast majority of BIAs are established in traditional old downtown areas. They were formed out of a need for the business owners and property owners of the area to unite as the advent of Malls and big box stores were displacing those those tradition community business areas.