Communities on Vancouver Island are considering establishing a new Island-wide Inter-community business licence.
The purpose of the licence is to allow people to do business anywhere on the Island – with just one licence. Twenty-four municipalities around the Island are considering adopting it.
“This is mainly going to help contracts and trades people, so that they can extend their business to other areas,” said Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, adding there is already a licence in place that allows people to do business throughout Greater Victoria, so implementing the new licence would just be an extension of it.
“Council is supportive of the licence, we want to do all that we can to break down barriers and help local business people succeed,” Tait said.
Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said the proposal for the new bylaw hasn’t come to council yet, but he is also supportive of it.
“If it reduces the red tape, I’m all for it,” he said.
McKay explained that often the trades people, who would likely benefit the most from the new licence, only work away from their hometown occasionally, so it would be a lot more convenient for them to only have one licence to do business anywhere on the Island, rather than multiple licences.
“It’s a progressive move, and I support it. Let’s break down those barriers,” McKay said.
Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jenson said he thinks the licence is a good idea, but would want to know more details about it, as the proposal hasn’t come before Oak Bay council yet.
“It’s a good conversation to have because anything we can do to make things easier for businesses is a good thing, so I definitely support the idea in principle,” said Jenson.
The proposal for the new licence has to go before all 24 councils, and once the municipalities decide whether they want to participate, a confirmed list will be put together.
After this, each individual participating council can move forward with adopting and implementing the new bylaw.
District of Sooke corporate officer Carolyn Mushata said she doesn’t expect the finalized list will be confirmed until the fall.
The B.C. Ministry of Jobs’ goal is to have participating municipalities adopt the bylaw and have it come into effect on Jan. 1.