Lowering start-up costs

Lake Country introduces innovative new business licensing bylaw.

Lake Country is introducing a cost-saving approach to attract new business to set up shop in the municipality.

Lake Country council is moving ahead with a new Business Licensing Bylaw that will speed up the licensing process, reduce costs for start-ups and improve the service for business owners.

This “made in Lake Country” bylaw offers a first-year free approach to fees starting in 2018.

Based on research, a first-year free business licence does not exist in any other community.

“We are very excited to be offering this innovative approach to business licensing by offering free business licences to new start-ups in their first year of operation,” said Jamie McEwan, community development manager for Lake Country.

“Local businesses and the people we serve together are the backbone of the economy. For many businesses, their first year can be the most challenging.

“The district wants to see more start-ups in the community, while at the same time continue to see existing businesses thrive.”

Improvements to business licensing in the community include:

· as of Jan. 1, 2018, businesses in their first year of operation won’t be charged a business licence fee;

· timelines for processing business licence applications have been reduced;

· a survey has been added to all applications and renewal notices so that the district gets ongoing and consistent feedback from local businesses; this builds upon other economic development work such as Business Walks and site visits that the district does to understand the business community’s needs.

“The new bylaw builds on the great work that council has completed to make the district more business friendly,” said Mayor James Baker.

“We are always looking at new ways to provide the best possible experience for businesses in the community. In 2016 Lake Country received an ‘Open for Business’ award from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and was acknowledged as a leader among other B.C. communities.”