Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas

Vision and Mission | Who We Are | Governance | By the Numbers

Ottawa is home to 19 BIAs found in downtown, suburban and rural settings. Together, they represent more than 6,400 property owners and businesses who employ 128,000 people and generate a quarter of a billion dollars in municipal tax revenue each year. Ottawa BIA’s invest an additional $7.4 million each year into their neighbourhoods. On-street beautification initiatives, marketing and promotional campaigns, street festivals, clean-street campaigns and public safety initiatives are but a few examples of their important work. They advocate for the interests of their business members and the greater community on a host of issues and serve as catalysts for positive change.

OCOBIA is a unified voice of the 19 Business Improvement Areas within urban, suburban and rural Ottawa who, when combined, represent more than 6,400 businesses and their 128,000 employees to:

  • Advocate and influence policies that affect BIAs and their surrounding communities
  • Protect the interests of BIAs and communicate the importance of their impact on local economies and tourism
  • Promote strong, successful and effective BIAs in the City of Ottawa
  • Implement joint initiatives that benefit groups within OCOBIA on issues and projects, including studies and research in marketing.
  • Facilitate and share the exchange of information, experiences and ideas among BIAs through a centralized resource

Value of Ottawa BIAs PDF


OCOBIA is a respected, proactive advocate and key influencer on issues and policies affecting the economic development and well-being of Ottawa BIAs – and the businesses they represent.


As the collective voice of Ottawa BIAs, OCOBIA provides a crucial and central point of communication, collaboration, guidance and influence with BIAs and external stakeholders.

Who We Are

Identified through our Strategic Plan Refresh, 3 key themes were established for OCOBIA: Advocate, Resource, and Partner

  • As an Advocate:
    • We advocate around issues of shared concern
    • We are a public voice, speaking to those in government & media
    • We are the champions of BIAs as a valuable partner and model
  • As a Resource:
    • We are a liaison and bridge breaking down the silos of individual BIAs
    • We are the negotiator for the BIAs to suppliers so that we can gain the best
      possible price on resources that most BIAs require
    • We provide the information and knowledge most needed by our BIAs
  • As a Partner
    • We are experts on what impacts businesses at the hyperlocal level and can bring that
      information to the table with other organizations
    • We are the caretakers of the main streets and builders of healthy communities

Read: Strategic Plan Refresh 2022

Leadership and Governance


Michelle Groulx, Executive Director and Chief Administrative Officer, Ottawa Coalition of BIAs


OCOBIA is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of BIA Executive Directors or Chairs who are members in good standing.

Chair, Andrea Steenbakkers, Executive Director Barrhaven BIA

Vice-Chair, Kevin McHale, Executive Director Sparks Street BIA and Mall Authority

Treasurer, Roddy Bolivar, Executive Director Carp Road Corridor BIA

Nathalie Carrier, Vanier BIA

Dennis Van Staalduinen, Executive Director Wellington West BIA

Patrick Burke, Executive Director Glebe BIA