The City of Calgary announces 2021 Business Improvement Area relief program

The City of Calgary is continuing to take action to support businesses and help keep our local economy afloat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this work, The City has allocated over $4.2 million in provincial and federal COVID-19 recovery funding towards Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). 

There are 15 BIAs located in Calgary and all 6,044 businesses located within the BIAs will have a one-time credit equal to their 2021 BIA tax bill applied to their account. Business owners will be mailed an updated account statement showing the credit applied and their current account balance. Business owners who are looking for more information should visit

“BIAs serve a valuable purpose in promoting and supporting the businesses and entrepreneurs in their ranks. The City of Calgary is dedicating more than $4 million in federal and provincial funding towards offsetting the costs associated with BIA membership for 2021,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “This will reduce costs on the barbers, the shop owners, the restaurants, and the galleries which bring so much character and vibrancy to our city’s main streets.”

The role of a BIA includes beautifying and maintaining property in their area, improving and maintaining public parking, and promoting the area as a business or a shopping district. The BIAs are governed by a Board of Directors made up of individuals nominated by businesses within its boundaries.

The City doesn't retain or benefit from the collection of BIA tax; all funds collected go to the BIA. If a business isn’t within the boundaries of a BIA, it will not receive a BIA tax bill.

“The 17th Ave Retail and Entertainment District BIA is very pleased to see The City of Calgary take such great initiative to support local businesses,” said Esther Kelly, Executive Director of the 17 Ave BIA. “Our businesses, during this uncertain time, will continue to need all the support available to them. By The City undertaking this ingenuity, it allows BIAs to continue the good work of advocating for businesses at all levels of government, marketing on their behalf, and bringing vibrancy to the public realm they are in all over the city.”

This BIA relief program is part of The City’s overall efforts to support businesses through the pandemic. The work of The City’s Business Sector Task Force includes:

  • Serving as a conduit to the business community to share their immediate needs.
  • Advocating to the provincial and federal government on behalf of Calgary’s business community.
  • Pulling together and sharing helpful tools and resources from trusted sources online.

BIAs also received federal funding through The City of Calgary in February to support business attraction efforts, like enhancing public spaces to create safe and appealing environments for visitors and businesses.

Additionally, through the COVID-19 pandemic, various permit fees for development and building waived for customers are over $2.26 million, with deferred fees of over $2 million in 2020.

Learn more about business supports at