I was asked to participate in discussions around a possible BIA for the Kanata North Business Park in early 2011. As the then-President of the Kanata Chamber of Commerce I was already interested in any efforts which could strengthen our business community as well as the communities we live in which surround the business park. As a business lawyer with many clients in the business park, I’ve watched the ebb and flow of our business community over the past decade in the business park and I am very concerned about the long term viability of our business community.
Most recently, I was a candidate in the October 2011 Provincial election in Carleton-Mississippi Mills, the riding in which the Kanata North Business Park resides. I spent a great deal of the campaign discussing economic development issues in our riding, particularly with regards to our technology sector.
I have become convinced that a BIA for the Kanata North Business Park will allow unique opportunities for business-directed promotion and branding of our business park. Business will set the priorities for the BIA through the Board, set the budget and the corresponding business levy and have complete control over all aspects of the BIA. The only focus of the BIA will be the strengthening of our business community in our discrete region. Although the Board of the BIA will be responsible for setting the strategic vision of the BIA, some of the suggestions I have heard to date include signage (has anyone noticed the horribly out-of-date “Kanata North Business Park” sign as you drive North on March Road?) and branding, promoting of the unique recreation aspects of our Park and international promotion.
I believe that there are also important advocacy reasons to form the BIA. The City of Ottawa has formed an economic advisory committee referred to as “GOBIA”. All of the (currently) 17 BIAs in the City of Ottawa have a seat on this advisory committee and I believe it is imperative that KNBP has representation as well. There are important municipal issues which require our advocacy as a Park, including transit issues.
I urge all KNBP property owners and tenants to get involved in the BIA process and hope that you will consider endorsing the BIA as I have.