Kamloops is working on a new bylaw to co-ordinate business licensing with other communities in the region.
The proposed inter-community business licence (ICBL) aims to reduce red tape by eliminating paperwork and reducing fees for businesses working in multiple communities.
City of Kamloops planning and development manager Rod Martin explained that a plumber who works in Kamloops, for example, technically requires a business licence to work in neighbouring Sun Peaks, on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve or in communities like Ashcroft, Cache Creek or Clearwater.
Under the proposed structure, that same plumber would pay a typical business licence fee in the community in which he or she is based, then pay an extra fee (which has yet to be determined) to work in communities that have signed on to the partnership. The city is in talks with Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Barriere, Sun Peaks, TTS, Lytton, Clearwater, Merritt, Chase, Lillooet and Logan Lake.
“It’s basically to try and simplify the whole process for small businesses,” Martin said, noting the current process makes it difficult for businesses to comply.
The province analyzed the region’s 2017 business licence data and determined only six per cent of mobile businesses purchased business licences in at least two communities.
“It is expected that the simplicity of applying for one ICBL at a relatively affordable rate should increase compliance and encourage businesses to fulfill other licensing requirements,” a report to the city’s development and sustainability committee states.
Fifteen partnerships of this kind exist in other areas of the province, in more than 90 communities. A report is expected to come to council this fall with the goal for the bylaw to be in place by January 2020, at which time a two-year pilot program would be initiated.