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March 3, 2003
Toronto's Business Improvement Areas continue to thrive
Small businesses, through their Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), are an
important part of Toronto's local economy, adding a unique flavour to its main
streets and neighbourhoods that attract residents and tourists alike for food,
shopping, festivals and fun.

The City of Toronto recognizes the importance of BIAs and the role they play in
the city's economic health and well-being. Toronto Economic Development today
demonstrated its support for this vital sector by sponsoring the 2003 BIA
National Conference, Main Street: Dinosaur or Dynasty co-hosted by the Toronto
Association of Business Improvement Areas and the Ontario Business Improvement
Area Association. The annual conference provides a forum for an exchange of
ideas on how to enhance the vibrancy of business areas and neighbourhoods.

"Toronto's 43 business improvement areas represent the largest concentration in
North America," Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Chair of the Economic
Development and Parks Committee, told the crowd of more than 200 delegates at
the BIA conference today. "We are a city of neighbourhoods with strong,
distinct flavours, representing many different cultural and ethic communities.
We need to build on what already exists to further strengthen our city through

More than 15,000 of the city's small businesses are located in BIAs and employ
more than 450,000 people, creating a strong network of support where they can
thrive. BIAs organize special events and festivals, and are involved in
improvements in public infrastructure and community safety and crime prevention
programs, which add to the desirability of an area as a place to live, to visit
and to do business.

Toronto Economic Development, through the Business Improvement Area Office,
delivers a variety of programs and services to BIAs, including financial
assistance for street and sidewalk improvements, tree lighting, banners,
festivals and strategic business planning.

Media Contact
Economic Development, Culture and Tourism Media Hotline



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