The Downtown Transcona Merchants Association (DTMA) was formed in 1986 by local business-people to actively promote the Downtown area with a desire to forge a partnership and play a leadership role in the upcoming Community Revitalization Program. But this was not the first time local business-people had shown an interest in enhancing the potential of the area.
Business has always had a strong role in the development of this community. The DTMA’s predecessor, the Transcona Board of Trade, was older than the town of Transcona; being organized February 10, 1911, several months before the town’s incorporation.
It is evident that a body of individuals with the goal of advancing the interests of the area and assuring Transcona’s prosperity has existed under various names for over 80 years.
Early Boards ranged in size from 45 to 77 members and underwent several restructurings. However each managed to undertake programs such as: the successful completion of the paving of Regent Avenue in 1931, the introduction of a town beautification project in conjunction with the Transcona Horticultural Society, and the eventual completion of the highway link between Vivian and Elma Manitoba, two neighbouring communities with important roles in Transcona’s continued development.
During the 1950s, the Transcona Board of Trade provided valuable leadership in the development boom that the community enjoyed. With an eye to the future, the Board’s organizational abilities and expertise were an invaluable supplement to the Town Council’s skills. So rapidly did this development occur, that soon the town was granted its own charter as a city in 1962. Much of this success can undoubtedly be attributed to the leadership shown on the Board and in the Community by Mr. B.R. Wolfe and Mr. M.J.G. McMullen.
By act of the City of Winnipeg Council on December 20, 1995 the Downtown Transcona Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) was established to expand and enhance the operating scope of its predecessor, the DTMA.
The BIZ changed its name from the Downtown Transcona Business Improvement Zone to the Transcona Business Improvement Zone, also known as the Transcona BIZ, in 1998 to reflect its involvement and concern with the Transcona Community as a whole.
The Business Improvement Procedural Bylaw #8111/2002 outlines the rules under which BIZ organizations must operate. Every for-profit business within the established boundary, as set by the City of Winnipeg and that is listed on the city’s current taxable business assessment roll, is automatically a member of a BIZ. The Transcona BIZ is outlined in the Transcona Business Improvement Zone Bylaw #8124/2002
Members pay a levy to the BIZ to fund the programs and services offered by the BIZ to enhance the area and help businesses thrive. The budget for those programs and services is set by the Transcona BIZ Board of Directors and approved by the members at the Annual General Meeting. The budget is also approved by the City of Winnipeg Council Members. The levy dollars are collected by the City of Winnipeg and transferred to the BIZ in three annual installments each year.
The Transcona BIZ is directed by a ten person Board of which nine are elected by the member businesses for a two-year term at the Annual General Meeting held at the end of the calendar year. These nine members are volunteers. The City also appoints the area’s City Councillor to the Board and a City-BIZ Liaison for guidance and support. Regular meetings of the Board occur monthly with a minimum of eight mandated by the BIZ Bylaw. The role of the Board is not to manage the operations but to ensure the operations are professionally managed. The day to day operations of the BIZ are carried out by an Executive Director hired by the Board and supported by seasonal employees, independent contractors or vendors and volunteers recruited by the Executive Director.
Although created by a City of Winnipeg Bylaw, the Transcona BIZ operates independently from the City of Winnipeg if they are within the requirements of the Bylaw. The Transcona BIZ is one of 16 Business Improvement Zones in the City of Winnipeg. The full Bylaw and more information can be found in the City of Winnipeg website: https://winnipeg.ca/ppd/BIZ.
The BIZ is also supported by many stakeholders in the community; government groups, community associations and others that support the work of the BIZ with sponsorship or in-kind donations.
Between 2009 – 2013, the BIZ undertook a $4.1 million Downtown Transcona Streetscape Revitalization Project, funded by the City of Winnipeg. This project included a new archway to welcome people to Downtown Transcona above Regent Ave West at Winona St., as well as new sidewalks, trees, tree vaults, solar and wind-powered lighting, banners, and infrastructure improvements.
Transcona BIZ continues to provide ongoing streetscaping and improvements within the Zone through initiatives such as summer and winter beautification, annual Spring Community Clean-Ups, Storefront Improvement Grants, the BIZ Member Rooftop Lighting Program, commissioning public artworks, and the seasonal Anti-graffiti program.
As of 2020, the Transcona BIZ has a membership of 160 businesses and is constantly striving to increase economic development in the BIZ zone and provide services and programming for the entire community of Transcona and surrounding areas.
Below is a map showing the Transcona Business Improvement Zone boundaries in which we serve.