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Mobile biz licencing may expand
A new Metro West program launched this week that allows tradespeople to work freely in six municipalities is good news for mobile business owners and entrepreneurs, a Coquitlam city councillor says.
On Tuesday, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, Richmond, Vancouver and Delta kicked off their inter-municipal mobile business licensing system for contractors and freelancers to buy a common permit. The mobile permit is considered an add-on to the regular business licence; in the past, businesses had to purchase single licences for every municipality they worked in.
Coquitlam Coun. Craig Hodge, who helped to pilot the Tri-City mobile licences this year with the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, said he'll meet with his committee this or next month to look at expansion.
Since January, 80 mobile licences have been bought in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody under the Tri-City program — about half of the intended target for the year.
Hodge said he hopes his committee — also made up of PoCo Coun. Mike Forrest and PoMo Coun. Diana Dilworth plus city staff — will consider adding Anmore and Belcarra to the Tri-City fold.
"From a geography standpoint, it makes sense to bring them on board," he said.
And once the two villages are included, the Tri-City program could either extend regionally to Metro West or to the east, to be part of the Upper Fraser Valley system. His aim is to see a single mobile licence for all of the Lower Mainland.
In total, 60 B.C. communities are part of a mobile business licensing program, with local governments seeing a greater compliance as a result. It has also generated significant revenues for the participating municipalities. The cost for an Okanagan-Similkameen mobile licence is $150; in Metro West, it's $250; and in the Tri-Cities, it's $165.
Hodge expects the Tri-City program will take off at the end of the year, when business owners renew their permits.
And Dilworth said: "A lot of people don't know about it but it's new. It could take a couple of licensing cycles before we see it become a success."