Our Mission

To improve, preserve, and promote North Sydney and area as a viable cultural and social center, to serve as a liaison with government offices, other business, and to strive to enhance and stabilize the economic vitality of the area through long-term improvement projects and ongoing promotional activities.

BIDA Objectives

  • To identify attributes of the community and promote them. To realize this is an excellent place to live and do business. To promote the well being of our economy.
  • To establish a centre for resources and information benefiting local business. To assist in providing necessary resources and demographic information, within or outside area, pertinent to all aspects of business and business development. To promote the establishment of business and to improve existing opportunities.
  • Pursue investment opportunities such as capital projects, community improvement, training opportunities (workshops and seminars) which promote economic development.
  • To ensure local consumers and businesses are kept aware of what is available within east travel access. To develop an information system that is informative about services, products, vacancies, tending procedures, etc.
  • To identify viable opportunities of development. Currently to explore tourism and culture as major industry generators and determine how best it can be implemented and developed on the Northside.

Board of Directors & Management

BIDA maintains an active Board of Directors that meets monthly. The organization operates with set policies and procedures that are regularly reviewed to keep updated with current bylaws and practices. The organization maintains open and transparent practices, including a computerized financial system, producing monthly income and balance statements for the monthly board meeting. The organization operates on the fiscal year end of Mar. 31. These reports are placed on file with monthly minutes. The organization employs an office coordinator and a bookkeeper who prepares all financial entries, payroll, payables, monthly CRA and WC deductions, and deposits. This practice is monitored by the treasure. An annual audit of the organizations financials is conducted by an outside source. The Board of Directors maintain Director Insurance. The board seeks all professional advice whenever it is required and abides by all legal (federal, provincial and local laws) practices as it relates to any activity.

BIDA Board of Directors

Chris Livingstone – (Chair), Owner of Granny’s Country Cottage.

Krista Rose – (Vice Chair), Real Estate Broker, Century 21 Island Gateway Realty Inc.

Susan Whitaker – (Treasurer).

Chrissie Green – (Board member), Owner of Creative Isle Graphic Design and Photography.

Mike Black – (Board Member), Owner of the Black Spoon.

Emily Pelley – (Board Member), Manager of Subway.

Mike Tobin – Lawyer for the BIDA.

What we offer

The BIDA has a strong foundation of support and good rapport with the community, businesses and government bodies. This reputation and credibility enables BIDA to implement projects and pursue its mandate; to promote, improve and enhance the economic, social, and cultural development of the area it serves.

The most significant accomplishment of the BIDA is its ongoing commitment to forming partnerships. Partners who share BIDA principles and goals promote and foster economic growth and viability in the community. The BIDA recognizes the need to step up its mandate, to commit to a strategy that brings community and business together to develop short and long-term projects. North Sydney is experiencing a decline in its local economy and needs to take a positive and pro-active approach to reverse this trend. The BIDA brings a new direction for older traditional businesses to utilize its experiences in developing and improving new marketing strategies and establishing a focus on community investment and economic growth.


The Business Improvement and Development Association, previously known as the North Sydney Business Improvement District Commission, was established in 1983 for the purpose of maintain, preserving, and enhancing the established business are of North Sydney. During the early year, the organization developed an enhancement and promotional plan that included additional and improved parking areas, the establishment of green spaces and park areas, removal of derelict buildings, creation of an identity logo and directional signage, establishment of a tourism bureau, better street lighting, façade project, and the development of community partnerships and committees that are still maintained.

In 1995, with the end of the Provincial Mainstreet Program and the amalgamation of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM), BIBC, was renamed and given a broader, more challenging mandate. At that time the business community, through a survey, gave the BIDA a 95% approval response to continue its work despite the loss of provincial and municipal funding. Since then the responsibilities of the BIDA has broadened, taking a more in-depth role of planning with the community, especially in areas that were previously organized by the local municipal government such as special events and capital development projects.

Today, the organization is a leader in the community, taking an active role in revitalization, tourism, economic and community development, job creation, business practices, community events, capital projects, promotion, public relations, and civic issues pertinent to the business and public community. The credibility of this organization is reflected in its continued commitment to promote the area and develop new ideas and projects that benefit the businesses and the entire community.

The BIDA is guided in its operations by board of directors who own or manage a business in the area or who have had long-standing community commitments. Their combined experience in business, investment, commitment, and community service to North Sydney contributes to the success of the BIDA. In addition to its Board of Directors, BIDA has the support of over 70-member businesses that make up the organization. BIDA has also built a strong ongoing interaction with community organizations and the municipality. This provides the BIDA with the strength and commitment to pursue a variety of ventures.