Ukee council: One market, one business licence, okay

Ucluelet will allow the Ucluelet Public Market Society to purchase one business licence that covers all its vendors rather than charge each vendor an individual fee.

As was recently reported in the Westerly News, the society locked horns with the district over vendors being asked to purchase a $125 business licence in order to set up shop on Ucluelet’s village green during Friday markets. In July, Ucluelet’s municipal council reviewed a letter from the society that argued asking each vendor to purchase a business licence from the district is unrealistic and that one all-encompassing licence for the whole market would make more sense.

Council was unable to make a decision during July’s meeting so the issue landed back on the table last week and society member Cody Naples presented as a formal delegation on behalf of the society.

Naples said the BC Farmers Market Association discourages districts from imposing individual business licence fees on public market vendors.

He said the society is already charging its vendors a $15 drop-in fee per market or a $125 fee for the entire

three-month season.

“If we have to tell these vendors that they also need to purchase a business licence before coming out, as well as pay these vendor fees on top of that, it’s going to deter the small vendors from coming out,” Naples said.

He said about six vendors have purchased a season’s pass from the market society and about two drop-in vendors come in each week.

“It’s pretty bare bones right now…we’re not large enough or profitable enough to be turning away the vendors who can’t buy the licence,” he said.

He pleaded with council not to add to the workload of volunteers or discourage people from getting involved in the market.

“What you stand to lose is a growing vibrant market downtown , a market that

encourages community involvement,” he said.

“We’re on our third year now and for the past three years the district has received a volunteer-run market that organizes a free event with live music in downtown Ucluelet.”

After hearing that the society already charges fees to vendors, Corlazzoli said he was in favour of allowing it to operate under one blanket business licence.

Coun. Geoff Lyons asked if the district had received any objections from local business owners who pay property taxes and purchase business licences but district staff responded few complaints have been received during the market’s three-year tenure.

Oliwa, who noted his objection to the market’s request last month, said he

was surprised to have heard no negative opinions from local businesses.

“I’ve actually heard nothing but good stuff about the market,” he said. “I would have thought by now we would have had somebody come forward…but I have had no negative comments at all.”

Mayor Bill Irving was in favour of the society’s request but suggested they adjust their fee structure to give locals a break rather than charge everyone the same price to play.

“I know we’re trying to attract and get things rolling and keep high activity but I think locals should be the advantaged group somehow in your fee structure,” he said.

This was met with objection from

both Coun. Sally Mole and Coun.

Dario Corlazzoli who spoke to the value of attracting out-of-town vendors.

Mole suggested outside vendors bring in items that are not grown on the West Coast and this boosts the market’s vibrancy.

Corlazzoli added out-of-town vendors increase the size and capacity of the market and promote growth.

“It encourages locals to get involved because they can see that it’s not just two or three vendors, it has a good variety so it attracts all different types of people especially tourists,” he said.

“We need to attract people from everywhere to enjoy it and to get it to the point where you’ve got more than five or six (vendors) you’ve

got 10 to 20 to 30 (vendors) and it becomes a draw for everyone so you’ll get more locals coming down as well.”

Naples said out-of-town vendors often bring their families and make a vacation out of their stay, which brings spin-off benefits to the tourism economy.

With council’s blessing in hand, the market society will now work with district staff to draw up an agreement that will see the society operating under one business licence.

No public hearing is necessary. The agreement will be reviewed each year and will also fall under the umbrella of Ucluelet’s regular business licence bylaw reviews.

reporter@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

Algae bloom kills over 200k farmed fish near Tofino

“We’re trying to rebuild fish stocks in Clayoquot Sound and it is disheartening to hear of this news.”

BC Transit plan rolls through public process in Tofino and Ucluelet

“I’m thankful that the residents on the Coast are allowing this process to continue on.”

Ucluelet cancels Harbour Lights Sail Past

“Of course it’s disappointing. It’s one of my favourite community events.”

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Ucluelet Aquarium wraps up season with release day event

Residents help release charismatic critters on Dec. 7.

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Chevron move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

B.C. patients wait 41% longer than national average to see a walk-in doctor: Medimap

The longest wait time was found in Sidney, B.C., where patients waited an average of 180 minutes

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

Most Read