The price of doing business in Colwood just got lower.
The seaside municipality eliminated the cost for annual business license renewal fees, replacing them with a perpetual license system for a one-time fee. Mayor Carol Hamilton said the change, adopted by Colwood council at its April 11 meeting, was just the right thing to do.
“We already have an increased rate for our business tax folks, so this was a small measure to drop that down a bit,” she said. “We are still looking to, in time, reduce the split between residential and business tax as well. This is just a small step forward to do that.”
The costs for the one-time licenses remain unchanged at $50 for a small home-based business, $100 for small commercial, inter-municipal and non resident businesses, and $200 for a large commercial retailer.
“The amount of staff time to keep everyone on track and up to date equates into dollars (as well), so at the end of the day I know we weren’t gaining much,” Hamilton said. “It was a moot point – it just was a bureaucratic process that needed to be done. If we can simplify it and streamline that, it’s a win-win for everybody.”
Existing businesses will be asked to complete an annual online renewal in lieu of the standard paperwork and Hamilton said it is the first steps in enhancing the business world in the West Shore community.
“Those are our corner stores, the fast food restaurants … We need to support the ones that are the every-day stop-by to ensure we have a quality of life in our community,” she said.
“As a previous small business owner (myself), we weren’t there to make career steps for folks, but it certainly filled the gap for youth getting into the working field and gaining some experience (as well). So you translate that across the board … all that adds up.”