Old Town Kemptville BIA opens membership

The Old Town Kemptville BIA has opened its membership to the rest of the businesses in the municipality. Any business in North Grenville can now pay a fee of $300/year to become an associate member of the BIA. This will allow them to participate in all BIA events, and be supported by the BIA, along with members who are located within the footprint. It will also allow the BIA to recruit more volunteers and, hopefully, receive a bit more funding to do more on behalf of its members.

Associate memberships are not uncommon with BIAs across the province, and the facility to have them is written into the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) bylaw. The business must be licensed to operate in North Grenville, and membership will be approved at the pleasure of the board.

BIA board member, Will Pearl, said he has an associate membership for the Manotick BIA, which allows him to participate in all their events. “It has been a good investment for our business,” he said.

Any business which is interested in becoming an associated member can contact OTK BIA Executive Director, Deron Johnston, at bia@northgrenville.on.ca.

KBIA hopes to play central role in tourism strategy:

The BIA is looking to play an integral part in the municipality’s new tourism strategy. At the OTK BIA meeting last week, members heard from consulting firm MDB Insight, which is in the process of developing a tourism strategy for North Grenville. Their four-person team has been working hard this Fall to capture the essence of North Grenville by consulting with the municipality, businesses, and residents through interviews, as well as an online survey. “What is it about tourism that excites you?” MDB Insight research analyst, Kai Liepins, asked at the meeting. “The more we understand that vision, the more we can adopt our strategy.”

BIA Executive Director, Deron Johnston, told BIA members that he already had a long interview with Kai regarding how the downtown can fit into North Grenville’s tourism strategy. “I really felt there were some important things to share in terms of the downtown,” Deron said. “We don’t always realize the assets we are sitting on here.”
The online survey is still underway, and BIA board chair, Debbie Wilson, encouraged all members to take the time to have their input. “I really encourage people to take the survey,” she said. Deron believes that Kemptville’s downtown should play a key part in North Grenville’s tourism strategy. As part of this, he hopes that MDB Insight will include a tourism office in the downtown as part of their recommendations to council. “This is an opportunity for the BIA to contribute significantly to tourism in North Grenville,” he said. “By offering reasonable options to the municipality and MDB Insight, we can make sure that the BIA is a focus.”

Deron encouraged BIA members to contact him if they have any other ideas about how the downtown can be featured in North Grenville’s new tourism strategy. MDB Insight is in the middle of the community engagement process right now, and they hope to have a finalized report ready for council approval at the end of January.


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