GBBA celebrates 20th anniversary; focused on BID campaign

BURNSIDE: The Greater Burnside Business Association (GBBA) celebrated 20 years of serving Burnside recently, and launched its campaign to form a Business Improvement District (BID) for the area. 

Over the past 20 years, volunteers with the GBBA have been responsible for supporting businesses in Burnside.

Throughout the pandemic and economic crisis it has become evident to volunteers – the GBBA needs increased funding, a stronger voice, and resources to face the business challenges ahead. 

“It became really clear early in the pandemic that we couldn’t offer the same supports to our members that BIDs could,” says Amy Gibson Saab, Chair of the GBBA BID Steering Committee.

“BIDs receive access to programs and funding from various levels of government and non-government organizations to support their business community. BIDs had, and continue to have, access to resources and supports that our volunteer group does not.” 

Although run by a volunteer Board, the GBBA has been responsible for improvements to Burnside like sidewalks, bike lanes, the Highfield Pedway, and the new Burnside Connector Highway.

To support the future of Burnside, the Board has brought together a BID Steering Committee with local business owners and managers.

Through extensive research and engagement with businesses in Burnside, they plan to ask HRM to host a BID vote in the Fall of 2022. 

“We’re so excited to celebrate the last 20 years of successes,” says Dee Deuville, Chair of the GBBA. “But we know that we could do so much more for Burnside if we were a BID.

“Without staff and a budget, there is an incalculable amount of opportunity for Burnside being left on the table.” 

BIDS are established by business and property owners in an area and work to promote local businesses, provide services such as security and transportation support, and advocate for the needs of businesses in the area. There are currently nine BIDs in Halifax.

If successful, the Burnside BID will be the largest mixed sector BID east of Montreal, and the first and only industrial BID in Canada.