Main Street Means Business – Provincial Election Asks

The Main Street Means Business guide can help electorates navigate Provincial parties’ election platforms in favour of enhancing and growing Ontario’s Main Street economy. Key focus areas include economic impact of social issues and small business economic recovery. It was created by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association, of which the Bronte BIA is a member.

Curated with input from voices of Ontario small business owners, Main Street Means Business encapsulates the issues currently affecting Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), otherwise known as mains street, and outlines recommended actions to the key issues identified:  


The Municipal Act gives BIAs an incomplete definition that hampers BIAs images and creates confusion in the public eye. Ultimately the best way to resolve these issues would be to open up for review the sections pertaining to BIAs in the Municipal Act.


(i) Housing

The lack of a balanced housing stock deteriorates the community ecosystem. The balance of Main Streets across Ontario has been shifting over the past decade, and the recent pandemic has brought these issues to a head.

(ii) Social Issues

Main Streets have been combating the following social issues and challenges which are outside of a BIAs mandate: mental health challenges, opioid crisis, safety concerns and perceptions, and security and policing.


(i) Main Street Small Business

Main Streets have been dealing with several social issues outside of a BIAs mandate which present roadblocks to reset and recovery. These challenges include unequal access to grants for BIAs, loss of tourism, stunted innovation, lack of staffing, increases vacancies, property standards and loss of vitality.

(ii) Basic Income

Income disparity through COVID is being exasperated, thereby limiting people’s income and reducing the amounts they can reinvest in local economies.

(iii) Childcare

The current childcare system creates a financial hardship, preventing parents from entering the workforce, limiting economic growth for main streets. Affordable childcare, with enhanced expansion of services and safely regulated spaces leads to stronger employment options for main streets, enhancing workforce stability.