Hope to offer mobile business licences

Community is part of a pilot program in the Fraser Valley

Hope is among nine Fraser Valley communities taking part in a one-year, mobile business licence pilot program.

The initiative strives to make it easier for companies to operate by allowing them to purchase one licence for specific trades, rather than obtaining non-resident permits in each municipality they do business.

“It makes sense. We want to encourage business and cut out the red tape,” said Parissa Aujla, the district’s director of finance. “It’s revenue-neutral. So we’re not bringing in any more money, but we’re not losing money. That was one of the premises for all the partnering agencies.”

The licence will be available for construction/trades companies, and any business affiliated with the industry. If the first year is successful, municipalities will look at expanding the program.

The participating municipalities, lead by the City of Langley, worked together with their chambers of commerce to adopt a common bylaw allowing businesses to purchase an inter-municipal business licence.

“It gives local contractors the opportunity to expand their business into what has now become the largest economic zone in the province,” said local Chamber president Glen Ogren. “From Surrey to Hope you now can operate in each jurisdiction with the inter-municipal business license. The Hope Chamber applauds district council for seeing this through and showing to the rest of the Fraser Valley we are open for business.”

The mobile business licence program was successfully piloted in 2007 by 17 communities in the Okanagan-Similkameen, and since then, Sicamous and the Central Okanagan Regional District have joined that group.

Mobile business licences will be available in Hope starting Jan. 1 at a cost of $250.

For more information on the program, visit http://www.resourcecentre.gov.bc.ca/mobile.html.