Westerly File

Business licences reach record high in Tofino

The district dished out 724 business licences in 2022, up from 686 in 2021

Business licences have reached an all time high in Tofino.

The district dished out 724 business licences in 2022, up from 686 in 2021.

That’s the largest one-year leap in business licences since 2018, where 677 were issued.

“First, it’s amazing to see this number of business licences in such a small town,” chamber president Laura McDonald told the Westerly News via email.

“It undoubtedly means Tofino has one of the highest ratios of business licences per capita, which is significant. It’s also not a huge surprise considering the entrepreneurial spirit that exists here at the end of the road.”

She added the majority of Tofino’s businesses are locally owned with employees who live in the community, leading to a strong recirculation of wages and benefits staying in town while also strengthening the fundraising and sponsorship roles local businesses fill.

“It really makes a difference when you support a local business,” she wrote.

“Tofino has not always been an easy place to do business, given its seasonality and everything that comes with that. I think it attracts entrepreneurs who want to live here and work hard to do so. We have a vibrant creative group of business owners who are incredibly hard-working.”

Tofino’s population per 2022’s census results, is 2,516, but that doesn’t necessarily mean 29 per cent of the population holds a business licence as individual businesses may require more than one licence for different activities.

McDonald noted the district’s efforts to crack down on illegal short term rentals likely contributed to the boost in business licences.

“We have many home-based businesses in the form of short-term rentals, so those account for quite a few of the business licences in town. They also contributed greatly to the local economy and enable many locals to pay their mortgages,” she wrote. “Also, the District has put efforts into ensuring all short-term rentals are licensed and that could also be contributed to the rise in the number of licences.”


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