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Fort Macleod council adopts licence by-law that says town is open for business

Virginia Wishart

Virginia Wishart

Fort Macleod is open for business.
That’s the message Coun. Keith Trowbridge said a new business licence by-law sends to the world.
Trowbridge said council has consistently heard that the Town of Fort Macleod is difficult to deal with, and that the by-law puts that to rest.
“That’s not the case and this by-law shows that we have good intentions,” Trowbridge said. “We are open for business. We are inviting business.”
Council gave second and third readings Feb. 8 to By-law No. 1836, the business licence by-law following a public hearing that did not attract any presentations from businesses or the public.
Economic development manager Virginia Wishart told council she sent the by-law to the Chamber of Commerce for comments, and did not receive any written response.
Wishart said there was feedback at the Chamber meeting from people concerned the home business licence was lowered to the same $100 fee charged all businesses. Those people wanted home businesses to pay more, because they get savings in areas that businesses with separate locations don’t get.
“My response was we want to promote businesses coming to town,” Wishart told council. “We want to encourage people who open businesses in their homes to actually get a licence rather than hiding away so that we can help them to grow their business and get a place on Main Street.”
Wishart said forcing home businesses to pay $250 for a licence as well as more than $300 for a development permit is a deterrent.
Wishart said she received positive comments from home business owners about changes in the licence fee structure.
“I didn’t hear any other concerns,” Wishart added.
Mayor Rene Gendre asked how many businesses start in their homes and move to Main Street or other locations.
Wishart said she knows of at least one present Main Street business that started as a home business.
“I think that’s something we can track going forward,” Wishart said.
Wishart has heard there are people in town who haven’t applied for a licence because of the cost. She is hopeful the change will encourage them to buy a licence.
“I would like to help them,” Wishart said. “I would like to get them on Main Street.”

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