BIA spends less than half its promotions budget
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | February 6, 2017
The Haliburton Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) will form a committee to ensure it spends all of its promotions budget in 2017.
The BIA’s executive made the decision during its annual general meeting on Feb. 1 after receiving input from member Andy Glecoff.
“If we’ve got a budget for these events, why aren’t we spending it?” asked Glecoff, whose family owns Haliburton's V&S Department Store. He is also a former board member.
“If there’s anywhere you want to spend money, it’s to advertise our town.”
Less than $7,000 of the budgeted $15,400 was spent between January and December, according to a profit and loss statement. The promotions category includes events and various campaigns to entice people to shop in town. (Last February’s Frost Fest was cancelled due to extreme cold, resulting in a saving of $400 in the budget.)
“We were actually very lucky in some areas in our advertising in that we were given goodwill for advertising,” said BIA treasurer Nelly Ashworth.
In some instances, a local radio station or newspaper offered advertising at a discounted rate, said Ashworth.
Glecoff asked who was responsible for making advertising decisions.
President Luke Schell said it’s up to the board.
“What our budget is is what we’ve decided to spend on that marketing,” said Schell.
Board member David Zilstra, who is publisher of The Haliburton Echo and Minden Times, said his publications ran many complimentary ads for the BIA.
“I have a vested interest in the downtown,” said Zilstra.
“I’m not on the BIA to spend all the money on the advertising budget. I don’t mind running the ads.”
Schell admitted that Glecoff raised a good point, and that the BIA isn’t marketing itself to its fullest potential without spending the money.
“I would strongly recommend that you put together a set committee to plan this so that that money gets spent—and spent wisely,” said Glecoff.
The board reduced the promotions budget by $2,400 to $13,000 for this year.
According to its Facebook page, the BIA “allows local businesses to join together and, with the support of the municipality, organize, finance and carry out physical improvements and promote economic development and community events.”
Its membership includes about 80 businesses.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.