Our Business Improvement Association (BIA) is a group of commercial property owners and tenants within the limits of White Rock who work in partnership with the City to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists and new businesses. We are strongly committed to fulfilling this mission, which we regard as a sacred commitment to the city, its businesses, and its citizens.

The meaning of the word “commitment” is very clear – it is an act of binding yourself to fulfill a charge or trust. In White Rock, the fact that our constituents have trusted us to run this BIA is very important to us, and our commitment is clear.

According to its constitution, the purpose of the White Rock BIA is to strengthen the economic vitality within the White Rock Business Improvement Area by undertaking business promotion schemes as defined by the Community Charter, S.B.C. 2003 c.26. These business promotion schemes are defined in the Charter and in the City of White Rock Bylaw 1931.

We carry out our commitment in several main areas:

Our goal is to keep White Rock a safe, attractive city that is continually developing better opportunities for people and businesses. To increase foot traffic and bring more visitors to the city, the Beautification and Revitalization Committee helps create and maintain an attractive commercial core in each of the four districts by developing programmes that allow merchants and other stakeholders to work together to beautify and build an attractive, welcoming White Rock Commercial Area. Today some of the programs that have helped reach this goal include:

  • Planting trees, shrubbery, and other greenery
  • Adding decorative or historic-style street lights, and other lighting.
  • Replacing broken pavement, often with brick or other natural materials.  Old fashioned cobblestones are sometimes used for crosswalks, often providing the additional benefit of slowing motorists.

These beautification projects are frequently part of larger construction projects improving streets and roads. They can be large-scale plantings along streets or as simple as placing a flower planter where there currently isn’t one. These projects improve the overall look of commercial areas while also making them safer for foot traffic — especially when fixing things like broken sidewalks or curbs.

The overarching goal is to establish an atmosphere that will naturally draw more people, in the form of shoppers and businesses, which translates into further success and investment in the City. This committee will also work towards building awareness, support and involvement from all aspects of the community for the revitalization of White Rock.

Communication is the act of conveying information for the purpose of creating a shared understanding word. The word “communication” comes from the Latin “communis,” meaning “to share,” and includes verbal, non-verbal and electronic means of human interaction. With the BIA, we consider communication to be of the utmost importance.

The BIA is financed through assessments on certain types of businesses within the community and is charged with good stewardship for the money. Our goal is to help businesses attract more visitors and locals, and in turn to revitalize the area. Paying the assessment is a leap of faith for businesses, and for cities who entrust their development to BIA programs, so good communication between the organization and those who put their trust in it is essential.

One way that the White Rock BIA communicates with members and other stakeholders is through its newsletter. The purpose of this communication vehicle is to:

  • Educate
  • Inform
  • Advocate
  • Promote
  • Influence
  • Sell
  • Or – simply connect you with us.

Our message goes out not just to our stakeholders, but aims to provide value to other readers from the general community – to other groups and organizations – and to the municipality.

The word “community” is derived from the Old French “communité,” which is derived from the Latin “communitas” (com, “with/together” + “munus, “gift”), a broad term for fellowship or organized society. A strong economy is one of the engines that drive a community. This enables families to support themselves, schools to be successful, faith institutions to create outreach programs, and cities to construct and maintain infrastructure.

The business community consists of both private businesses and the various organizations to which business owners and their employees belong. Local businesses hold one of the numbers to the combination which unlocks a community’s future. Businesses play a vital role in providing an incentive to work, job training, job opportunities and advancement for everyone in the community. By working collectively as a BIA, local businesses have the organizational and funding capacity to be catalysts for civic improvement, enhancing the quality of life in their local neighbourhood and the City as a whole.

They must also give back to the community – to help strengthen and improve it. By doing so they are assured of their future existence, continued profits, and enhance the image in the eyes of the public they serve. In this sense, businesses are a community partner and responsible for participating in efforts to address community issues.

The development the BIA assists and promotes within our geographical areas can help build the community and keep neighbourhoods vibrant. We are interested in playing a role as a partner in community building. What goes on around our businesses can impact us in many ways – and not always positively.

With many businesses joined under a geographic umbrella, businesses and property owners can work together in support of their community. Led by a board of directors, and with the support of the municipality, our BIA works to improve marketing and beautification, create a pleasant seasonal environment, and even run special events.

Most of our board members are not experienced city planners, but we are committed to working with the White Rock government to promote wise and efficient urban growth and to achieve a vision of balance, well-planned, and sustainable communities. We promote wise and efficient urban growth accompanied by good planning and good development practices, affordable housing and high quality commercial and industrial developments.

To make sure that the BIA works in tandem with the city, and to make sure that the interests of local merchants are heard, we work hard to establish and maintain good relationships at City Hall.

The White Rock BIA constantly strives to fulfill its commitment to business and citizenry by working in these four areas of beautification, communication, community development, and economic development. We welcome the active involvement of all members in all of these areas and welcome your participation on committees. Please contact us if you want to get involved.