Option 1: Dissolve the BIA

    Under the current model, the BIA is governed by a Board of Directors with the Council of the Municipality of Brockton approving the budget and certain fundamental changes (e.g. Board structure, Board appointees etc.)

    The BIA is funded through a mandatory levy paid by each property that is assessed as commercial or industrial within the geographic boundaries set by the Municipal Council by By-law. The levy is then used to promote the area as a business or shopping area, or to fund beautification projects.

    If the BIA were dissolved, there would no longer be a levy. A decision to dissolve the BIA would need to be approved by Council, with 60 days’ notice to repeal the bylaw that established the BIA. The dissolution would take effect on December 31, 2021 and the Municipality of Brockton would assume all the assets and liabilities of the BIA. If the BIA liabilities exceeded the assets, Council could recover the difference by imposing a charge on all the members to make up the difference. 

    In addition, the Municipality of Brockton could retain sufficient funds to ensure that all Walkerton Dollars could still be redeemed directly at the municipal office. 

    Benefits and Drawbacks to Option 1:

    • No mandatory levy
    • No need to comply with municipal legislation or procurement rules
    • Freedom to organize promotions or events that best suit participating businesses 
    • Reduction in administrative burden (no more Annual General Meetings, Audits, etc.)
    • X Lack of budget for events and promotions. Therefore, the need to secure additional revenue to support events and promotions
    • X Lack of central business support
    • X No business organization representing the business community as a whole
    • X Lack of coordinating body for events and promotions may lead to difficulty coordinating events across businesses
    • X Guides, brochures, pamphlets would need to be created by the Municipality or volunteers
    • X Loss of membership in the Ontario Business Improvement Association (OBIA) and its training and supports

    Option 1: Dissolve the BIAOption 1: Dissolve the BIA 


    Option 2: Establish a Chamber of Commerce

    A Chamber of Commerce is a group of voluntary business owners who create a partnership to promote the common interests of those businesses. The membership is voluntary, and any membership fees are set directly by a board of directors elected from amongst the business owners. A Chamber of Commerce is a separate non-profit corporation and is not a local board of the Municipality.

    Benefits and Drawbacks to Option 2:

    • Potential for significantly lower fees
    • No need for budgetary or other approvals from Municipal Council, or compliance with municipal legislation and policies;
    • Potential discount on Point of Sale machines;
    • Potential to offer benefit packages for owners and employees
    • Additional business support and resources from Association 
    • Coordinated organization for events and promotions
    • Chamber could continue selling Walkerton Dollars
    • Ability to hire staff as required
    • Can represent business beyond Walkerton and throughout Brockton
    • X Initial administrative burden to establish corporate governance
    • X Need to obtain sufficient revenue for promotions and events
    • X Need sufficient member interest to allow for larger events and promotions

    Option 2: Establish a Chamber of CommerceOption 2: Establish a Chamber of Commerce


    Option 3: Establish an Events and Promotions Committee

    The BIA could dissolve and create a separate committee to organize events and promotions. It could be an informal, unincorporated group of volunteers, or could continue as a Committee of Council (which would still require municipal oversight and compliance with municipal policies). Under this option, there would not be a mandatory levy or membership fee, but any events or promotions would require prior fundraising. 

    Benefits and Drawbacks to Option 3:

    • Flexibility and little administrative burden
    • Voluntary participation with no fee
    • Ability to streamline events tailored to participating businesses only
    • X No insurance coverage or separate legal entity, unless a Committee of Council
    • X Success of events and promotions rests entirely with efforts of volunteers, unless a Committee of Council
    • X No accountability or transparency for all businesses, unless a Committee of Council
    • X No budget for events and promotions, unless, potentially, as a Committee of Council and the yearly budget permits based on Council approval
    • X Funding supports (e.g. from County, Provincial Government or RTO7) could be limited if group is unincorporated 

    Option 3: Establish an Events and Promotions CommitteeOption 3: Establish an Events and Promotions Committee


    Option 4: Streamlined BIA

    Another option may be to keep the BIA, but streamline the levied area and the operations of the corporation. The BIA boundaries could be reviewed and reduced to a smaller area, such as downtown businesses only, for more unified promotions. This may reduce the need for an office and full-time staff, allowing more money to be spent directly on promotions. Under this model, the overall strategy would be set in conjunction with the Municipality with the Board of Directors providing oversight for expenses and administration.

    Benefits and Drawbacks to Option 4:

    • Potential for greater staff retention 
    • Unified interest for easier planning of promotions and events
    • Clear communication with municipality and streamlined decision making
    • Levy funds available to fund promotions and events
    • Maintain OBIA membership and training/supports
    • X Reduced revenue from current levy for promotions and advertising
    • X Still must comply with municipal legislation and policies
    • X Loss of office space

    Option 4: Streamlined BIAOption 4: Streamlined BIA