UPDATE: Inter-municipal business licence sales lag expectations
The number of inter-municipal business licences (IBL) sold in the Tri-Cities in the program's inaugural year has fallen short of expectations, according to a Port Coquitlam staff report.
Only 94 of the licences — which allow mobile businesses to operate in Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam under one permit — were sold in 2013, well short of the 154 expected when the licences were rolled out.
PoCo's numbers lagged behind the other two cities, with 34 issued of the targeted 68 (50%); Coquitlam issued 42 of its targeted 68 (62%) while Port Moody had the highest uptake but the lowest target, issuing 14 of an expected 18 licences (78%).
Dan Scoones, PoCo's manager of bylaw services, said in a staff report that many businesses are waiting for their current licences to expire before purchasing an IBL. He also noted that greater emphasis on promoting the new licence would be initiated in the new year.
"Each municipality has... agreed to some further promotional activities," he said in the report. "For example, Coquitlam will be sending out IBL information with the January renewals to businesses that are eligible for the IBL."
Under the IBL program, businesses that work across municipal boundaries — plumbers, landscapers and caterers, for example — pay $165 on top of their annual licence fee for a mobile permit that allows them to legally operate in all three cities.
The money collected is then divided among the three municipalities, with Coquitlam getting 29% of the revenue, Port Coquitlam getting 18% and Port Moody taking 53%. The formula was designed so that the participating cities would not suffer revenue loss as a result of the program.
The three municipalities agreed to revisit the revenue-sharing agreement at the end of 2013 but because of the low uptake, PoCo staff is recommending the current funding formula be maintained for another year. PoCo council voted in favour of the recommendation during Monday night's meeting.
INTER-MUNICIPAL BIZ LICENCES
CITY TARGET ACTUAL
Coquitlam 68 42
Port Coquitlam 68 34
Port Moody 18 14
TOTAL 154 94