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Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



Why BIAs Should Talk With Business About Security

Posted by Joe Wilson

Aug 26, 2022 10:30:00 AM

WHy BIAs should talk security

Most cities and towns, even smaller ones, have at least one Business Improvement Association (BIA). A BIA is a group of commercial property owners and renters who partner with their local municipality to help create a thriving and safe business area for customers and business people.

Many times, BIAs are centralized to the downtown core, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, in the City of Vancouver, there are 22 Business Improvement Associations. 

These organizations are usually funded by local businesses, grants and events that the associations hold to raise money. Money is then reinvested back into the area to help beautify the space, attract customers and boost the local economy.

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One major line item on most BIA’s budgets is community safety. The size of this budget depends on the BIA and the area that they are responsible for. Vancouver’s largest BIA is in Downtown Vancouver. Their Community Safety budget for the year is $1,627,351, which is more than 25% of the BIAs forecasted revenue. 

Each BIA uses their community safety budget for different projects related to improving the safety of the area in question. For the Downtown Vancouver BIA, this funding is used for: 

  • Graffiti removal 
  • A public safety ambassador team 
  • Bike patrols 
  • Overnight patrols 

As crime continues, BIA budgets for community safety increase. Since COVID began the Cambie Village BIA has increased their community safety budget by more than 1300% from $4,500 in 2019 to $60,000 in 2022. 

While it is good that these BIAs are helping fund community safety, if it weren’t for criminal activity, these large budgets could be used for other growth-related projects. This includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Promotions to attract customers 
  • Beautification to increase the attractiveness of the area 
  • Festivals to entertain and attract visitors
  • Grants and loans to help small businesses grow and succeed 

That’s why BIAs need to do more than cover the cost of keeping their communities safe. They also need to help educate local business owners on the steps they can take to help improve safety. And one of the biggest changes businesses can make is installing and updating their surveillance system with verified security

Verified audio and video security solutions enable operators at a central monitoring station to hear and see what is happening at a business before the criminals gain entry. The operator then verifies the source of the alarm and notifies the police to attend the scene immediately while relaying real-time information to the responding officers. 

If it's a false alarm, the system is reset without bothering the business owner or the police. 

At Sonitrol, we have the highest apprehension rate and the lowest false alarm rate in the industry, because of this ability to verify alarms. This has given us a reputation that police can trust, and criminals don’t mess with. That means businesses benefit from improved response times (3.5 minutes vs 45+ minutes with traditional CCTV) and criminals who simply walk away when they see our brand. 

Now, imagine every business in your association's area invested in this technology for the interior and exterior of their business. Not only would it help ensure criminals are caught without nearly as much damage – it could stop criminals from committing the crimes in the first place meaning you and your BIA would have more time and money to focus on growing and improving the local economy. 

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with Sonitrol Western Canada today

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Topics: Commercial Security, Building Access Control

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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