Thank you to the individual that shared this on social media. It’s an excellent opportunity to share how levies are collected by the City of Camrose and what Downtown Camrose does with those levies in support of the business community.

Downtown Camrose, is the City’s Business Improvement Area (BIA), made up of over 250 businesses in the downtown.

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a specific and defined area in a community where businesses pool resources to work together, through a formal association, to improve and promote their area. All businesses in the area belong to the BIA and are required to pay their tax levy for the BIA.

The BIA is established by a local Bylaw and regulated according to the Municipal Government Act Regulations. The bylaw defines the physical boundary of the BIA, the BIA’s name, and the purpose and some processes of the BIA. It also confirms the number of directors on the board, how long they can serve, and how roles on the board are filled. Under the MGA regulations, all board members are appointed by Council and the BIA budget must be approved by Council.

The BIA’s Board of Directors is responsible for the administration of the BIA. Board members must be nominated by the business members of the BIA. The board develops the BIAs’ annual operation’s plan and submits the BIA’s budget to the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Once passed at the AGM, the budget and operation plan is submitted to city council for approval.

Council notifies all businesses in the BIA of the budget deliberation and bylaw consideration each year and every business has the opportunity to attend Council to speak to either or both the budget and the bylaw. Once the budget and the Business Area Tax Bylaw is approved by Council, the City sends tax notices to all businesses in the BIA. The City collects the levy and transfers it to the BIA, Downtown Camrose.

Benefits of the BIA for businesses

  • Ability to accomplish more for the area by working together
  • Increases vibrancy and shared marketing helps attract more customers and businesses to downtown
  • We are an advocate and a unified voice for the business community when issues/concerns or ideas may need to be brought to the City’s attention.
  • Builds community pride and interest in our downtown business area
  • Local events and initiatives that make the area a more interesting place to visit
  • We collaborate with the City, County, Chamber and other organizations
  • We promote Downtown Camrose as a place for visitors and our Camrose residents to “shop local”

 Events:

  • Annual Midnight Madness, which takes places the last Friday of November.
  • Annual outdoor market located on 50th street.
  • Inviting businesses to hand out candy to trick or treaters on Halloween.
  • The Winter Lights Parade
  • Lastly, this fall we launched a new loyalty program to support our business community and to increase repeat visitation.