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Stoney Creek opts out of BIA app

By Kevin Werner, News Staff

If you download the Hamilton Association of Business Improvement Areas’ new free mobile app to find a business or event, you probably won’t find any Stoney Creek businesses on it.

The Stoney Creek BIA was one of three business improvement areas that decided not to get involved in the new technology.

“There was a significant cost involved,” said Connie Behie, executive director.

As well, when the BIA executive found out about the project and was asked to get involved late last year, Behie said they had already budgeted what they were going to spend and decided not to get involved. She estimates it would have cost the BIA around $1,000.

The other BIAs not involved in the project are Main Street Esplanade and King Street West.

The new smartphone app, released earlier this month in Ancaster, allows users to instantly locate businesses in 10 of the 13 BIA districts. Along with maps and event listings, the app contains information on individual businesses. It can be accessed at www.habiamobile.com.

The Stoney Creek BIA has one of the lowest budgets among the 13 organizations, with a proposed $26,400 for 2013. Its largest expense, at $14,000,  is for streetscaping, decorations and maintenance. Its advertising budget for this year is set at $6,500.

The Dundas BIA, one of the most successful in the city, is proposing a budget of about $154,000 in 2013.  Its marketing budget for 2013 is about $65,000, while it has allocated $24,000, for beautification.

Dundas, which joined the other 10 BIAs to announce the free mobile app, also has its own downloadable mobile edition of its website.

Behie said the Stoney Creek BIA is doing the best it can with the resources available to keep up with the changing tastes, and information opportunities that are available. She said the BIA used one of its own members, Spinning Gears Productions, to revamp its website. The company, she said, is also looking at some other wireless technology for the BIA. The company could not be reached for comment.

“We realize there is a need for it,” Behie said. “But it is a question of cost.”

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