‘Mobile licences for business’

Business groups make pitch for single licence for Fraser Valley area

The local chamber of commerce wants to cut down on the number of business licences its members have to be pack around the Fraser Valley and is calling for Maple Ridge council to back its call for mobile business licences.

Chambers of commerce in Chilliwack, Abbotsford,  Langley, Mission and Pitt Meadows want businesses to be required to only have one business licence for all those municipalities. Having only one business licence for all municipalities will save businesses time and money and reduce administration costs, said Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce president Ken Holland.

Currently, if a home-renovation company based in Mission wants to do a project in Maple Ridge, it must have a Maple Ridge business licence.

Having only one licence accepted in all municipalities means businesses can serve all areas, which could also help create more competition for the consumer’s dollar.

Greater Victoria already has such a system in place, requiring only one business licence for 13 municipalities in the area. Maple Ridge charges $110 a year for its business licence.

That also results in greater compliance for businesses and could even increase revenue from permit fees to the district.

Coun. Cheryl Ashlie pointed out the district approved the concept a year ago. “We need to unclutter regulation. We need to get out of the way of business,” she said.

She pointed out the topic is on council’s to-do list and hoped the presentation would speed up the process.

Coun. Micheal Morden who runs a security alarm business (ASC Professional Security Services) said a mobile business licence or an inter-municipality business licence would help him. He’s already got several business licences for the Lower Mainland, including three for Vancouver.

“We’re getting a lot of support for this,” Holland said.

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