Cavers says bylaw caters to big box
A Kamloops city councillor says new changes to the city’s business-licensing program are a “free pass for mega-box stores.”
Coun. Donovan Cavers was the only member of Kamloops council to vote this week against an update to the business-licence bylaw, which updates fees and introduces a new secondary-licence discount for some businesses.
Under the change, a business with more than one licence — for example, a grocery store with a gas bar — would get a discount of about $35 on its second licence. The discount would also apply to contractors, who have to pay for separate licences to do commercial and residential work.
Cavers said the change seems to give large stores an advantage over smaller, centrally located businesses.
“To me, it seems like a good way to promote big-box stores,” he said.
“I’m certainly more of a supporter of small businesses like we find on Victoria Street and within the downtown core.”
Don Garrish, city business licence and land co-ordinator, said the change will affect just over 100 of the city’s largest businesses already paying the highest fees on the scale, about $1,200.
Other changes to the bylaw are meant to bring fees more in line with the actual cost of operating the licensing program, Garrish said.
The update will also allow more businesses to electronically submit their information to the department.