For many of the businesses in downtown Kingston, there is one entity that works with them to help the area flourish. That entity is the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA), which is lead by its Board of Management as it helps to keep the downtown clean, hosts festivals and events, and works with partners, such as the City of Kingston and Tourism Kingston, to help make our vibrant downtown core what it is.
Today, the current candidates for the January 2023 to December 2026 Board of Management for the Downtown Kingston BIA have been announced. Twenty potential candidates have been nominated for positions on the board, as of Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.
“We are looking to elect 15 members to the board, plus two city councillors, who are appointed by Council. Often, there is a third councillor who serves as an alternate,” Chief Operating Officer for the BIA, Michèle Langlois, stated in response to Kingstonist inquiries.
According to a release from the BIA, the organization shares the same election cycle as the municipality and is “an integral part of the health and vitality of downtown Kingston.”
The focus of a BIA is to create and maintain an atmosphere in the main commercial area of a city that businesses can thrive in, by beautifying the sidewalks and streets, producing events, programming and promotions that draw people to the core, building community and advocating for the needs of their members, according to the release.
There are over 300 BIAs across Ontario, with Kingston being one of the largest. Although they are a local board of the City of Kingston, they operate as a separate entity, the organization stated. The BIAs are funded by their members – the business and property owners within a BIA select boundary and overseen by an advisory Board who are voted in by the membership.
“When recruiting potential board members for candidacy, we strived to create a balanced representation of members,” said Marijo Cuerrier, Executive Director of the Downtown Kingston BIA. “Things like the physical location of businesses, industry representation, diversity and age of the potential candidate were considered. I am proud of the candidates who have come forward and look forward to our AGM where the new board will be decided.”
According to the BIA, nominations are still being accepted. View a full list of current nominees here.
The Downtown Kingston BIA Annual General Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, where elections will be held. Each BIA member has one vote. Visit the Downtown Kingston website for more information or to RSVP for the AGM.