A mobile business licence pilot program approved by Chilliwack city council last week will make life easier for merchants and shoppers alike, says Patti MacAhonic at the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.
“It streamlines everything,” she said.
If an Inter-Municipal Business Licence bylaw is approved at the end of the pilot program, eligible mobile businesses like roofers and caterers will be able to purchase a licence to operate anywhere in the nine Fraser Valley municipalities in the program.
Shoppers in Chilliwack would have more access to services not available here, and increased competition would tend to drive down consumer prices, said MacAhonic, executive director of the Chilliwack Chamber.
She said it was decided that no special provision is needed in the bylaw to ensure businesses are aware of different bylaw regulations that may exist in each municipality, which would be the normal responsibility of any business.
A study of a pilot program in the Okanagan showed that sales revenue of mobile businesses increased, compliance increased by 30 per cent and there were no enforcement issues as a result of the licencing program.
The nine proposed Fraser Valley communities – Hope, Abbotsford, Mission, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Langley Township, Langley City, Surrey and Chilliwack – will share the revenue generated by licence fees according to a formula contained in the bylaw.
The one-year pilot program in the Fraser Valley is expected to start in January.