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Chamber promotes city partnering in mobile licences

Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce president Pat Giesbrecht speaks to city council. - Kevin Mills
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce president Pat Giesbrecht speaks to city council.
— image credit: Kevin Mills

Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce wants city hall to join forces with neighbouring communities and implement an inter-municipal mobile business licence policy.

In a presentation to council Monday afternoon, chamber president Pat Giesbrecht noted that “government red tape” is a constant challenge to business growth.

“A mobile business licence allows mobile businesses to operate across participating municipalities and regional districts. It streamlines and simplifies the licensing process,” according to Giesbrecht.

He suggested Abbotsford partner with the Township of Langley, Chilliwack, Mission, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Examples of mobile businesses include contractors, landscapers,  janitorial services, mobile mechanics and photographers.

Allan Asaph, executive director of the local chamber, said the promotion of mobile licences is actually an initiative of the BC Chamber of Commerce, and other chambers are also going before their councils this week with similar recommendations.

“The way it works right now, if you are from Abbotsford and want to go and work in Mission, you take out a business licence here, then you go over to Mission and take out a business licence there. And if you do work in Chilliwack, you go and take out a business licence there,” he said.

The cost and paperwork can become complicated.

“If you take them out at different times, they end at different times,” said Asaph

The idea of mobile licences began in the Victoria area, followed by the Okanagan.

Asaph said a business based in Abbotsford would take out an Abbotsford licence and a secondary mobile licence that allowed them to work in the other areas that agree to the program. The same would go for other communities.

“There is no revenue splitting on this. The additional mobile business licence Abbotsford sells, Abbotsford would keep the revenue on that.”

He said all parties involved gain an advantage. The businesses have less paperwork and eliminate some duplicate costs; the community at large gains more access to tradespeople, especially in smaller communities, and the cities see more revenue.

Council voted to approve the business licence proposal in principle, and have staff look into the issue, and get back to council in 30 days.

As part of the council presentation, a short video was shown. To view the video, visit:

http://tinyurl.com/87xw5m2

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