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Cold Lake council considering rebating business licenses

Cold Lake is proposing a rebate of business licensing fees paid by commercial and home-based businesses.
City Hall - WINTER
City of Cold Lake council will be discussing the possibility of a rebate of business licensing fees for businesses who operate within city limits. File photo.

COLD LAKE – Businesses in the City of Cold Lake might be getting a bit of a break.

The city is proposing a rebate of business licensing fees paid by commercial and home-based businesses who operate within city limits.

The proposed rebate is in alignment with the provincial government’s Red Tape Reduction Strategy to promote positive business growth and streamline approvals amid challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know many of our local businesses have suffered over the past eight months with the restrictions that are in place due to COVID, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism sectors,” said city CAO Kevin Nagoya in a press release. “What we are proposing to City Council is taking the licensing fees paid for 2020 and giving them back to businesses, as a way of easing some of the financial pressure.”

The proposed rebate would automatically be applied as a credit for business license fees owing for 2021.

Those businesses operating from outside of city limits and those applying for a new license in 2021 would still be required to pay the applicable fee.

“It doesn’t represent a large financial loss for the City in the grand scheme, and at the same time we know it’s not a major cost savings for most businesses,” said Nagoya. “But every little bit helps and we’ll do whatever we can to help our business community recover from this pandemic and bounce back even stronger.”

Commercial businesses pay a $75 annual license fee, while home-based businesses pay $150 annually. The proposed rebate of 2020 license fees to offset 2021 fees would result in approximately $54,000 in lost revenue for the City.

There were 360 commercial and 179 home-based business licenses issued in Cold Lake in 2019. 

Council will consider the proposed rebate at an upcoming meeting.

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle

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