Vancouver set to move forward with innovative new mobile business licence

June 20, 2013 | Jobs and the Economy

An innovative plan to support local businesses operating in Vancouver will be considered at City Council next week, with Mayor Gregor Robertson supporting a pilot project for a new multi-city business licence.

Building on direction from a January motion from Councillor Geoff Meggs, the new ‘mobile’ business licence is part of ongoing work to continue Vancouver’s economic growth by cutting red tape at City Hall and streamlining regulations affecting Vancouver small businesses.

Under the new pilot project, trades contractors and professionals in Vancouver’s booming construction industry will need just one licence to operate in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Delta, and Surrey.

“As a lifelong entrepreneur, I understand the importance of City Hall supporting small businesses with every tool available,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The new multi-city business licence follows through on our commitment to reduce red tape and support small businesses in Vancouver’s growing economy, and it builds on our work at City Hall to ensure Vancouver has a robust business climate for new investment, talent, and jobs.”

The pilot program will run from October 2013 until at least December 2015, and was developed in conjunction with the Vancouver Economic Commission, Vancouver Board of Trade and Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, in addition to the other participating municipalities.

The Mayor is also introducing a new motion directing the City to work with the Vancouver Board of Trade and Vancouver Economic Commission on identifying next steps to support the success of local small businesses. 76% of all businesses in Vancouver have fewer than 10 employees.

The City has taken a number of recent steps to support small business and enable a competitive economic climate, such as reducing the property tax burden for businesses (as recommended by the Property Tax Policy Review Commission), reducing the number of business license categories from 636 to less than 200, and reducing the City’s net debt by $151.4 million in 2012 alone. The City of Vancouver also recently received its second notice for an upward credit rating revision since 2009.

Total building permit values in Vancouver hit an all-time record high value of $2.596 billion in 2012, while processing times for single-family home applications have also been slashed from 15-18 weeks to 6-8 weeks.

For more information on the proposed new multi-city business licence, click here:

For the Mayor’s motion regarding support for local small businesses, click here: