BIA open house May 8

BIA and Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to discuss roles

Sidney’s new business improvement area (BIA) will join the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce at an open house to explain their distinct roles within the business community.

On Wednesday, May 8 the two organizations will be at the Mary Winspear Centre from 6 to 7:30 p.m. offering information and seeking new member registrations.

BIA board chairman Cliff McNeil-Smith says he’s pleased to be able to stand with the Chamber in an opportunity to tell people what the organization is all about and how it has much in common with the Chamber.

“There’s a good relationship between the two organizations,” he said. “We provide complimentary roles in the community in promoting business and Sidney as a whole.”

The BIA is a new entity this year and is still in its initial start-up phase. Its goal is “to market and promote businesses and special events in Sidney for the benefit of all businesses and the community,” according to a media release.

The Chamber and BIA are different in many respects, McNeil-Smith added. He said the BIA will promote existing events and the overall appeal of downtown Sidney to an audience beyond the town’s borders.

“Even before we looked at starting a BIA, we looked at various business models for promoting the business district of Sidney as a larger entity.”

He said the group tasked with this job found that a BIA was the best answer, adding the Chamber agreed and has been a supporter.

“This was a role that needed to be filled in Sidney.”

McNeil-Smith said while the roles of both organizations are different, there are enough synergies between them to be able to better share information and promote events and businesses in downtown Sidney.