Mission council has approved making the inter-municipal business licence permanent for contractors in the construction industry.
Mission was part of a group of nine Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley municipalities to begin the inter-municipal licence program on a test basis in 2012. The licences, which cost $250 per year, are sold in the home municipality of the contractor, who must also have a business licence in that city. They can then be used in each of the municipalities that have signed on to the program.
In addition to the program being made permanent, the District of Kent and the Corporation of Delta are now joining in. That will mean the licences are valid in all municipalities from Delta on the south side of the river and Pitt Meadows on the north side to Hope in the east, with the exceptions of White Rock and Harrison Hot Springs.
The joint committee which has recommended the program be made permanent agreed that the mobile business licences would not work outside the construction industry, as “broadening the list of eligible business types beyond the construction industry could pose considerable risk in that the bylaws of a participating municipality could be compromised.”
The types of business that qualify for the licences has been broadened slightly to include those that do maintenance and repair of land and buildings. Thus companies such as carpet cleaning services and janitorial firms could get such a licence.
In 2014, Mission sold 84 inter-municipal business licences. Surrey, the largest city taking part in the program, sold 439 licences, while Abbotsford sold 404. Each municipality keeps 90 per cent of the revenue from the licences, and shares the other 10 per cent with the remaining participants.
The inter-municipal licences have been a longstanding initiative sought by many chambers of commerce, and are also supported by the provincial ministry of small business
“I’m happy this is more permanent,” said Coun. Pam Alexis.