The city is looking to engage with business owners across Grande Prairie as changes are being proposed to a new business licence bylaw. If approved by members of council, the proposed changes would see all businesses operating in the City of Grande Prairie required to get a licence,

It’s also intended to provide the city with a better picture of what services are currently on offer. Senior Executive Advisor for Infrastructure and Economic Development Rory Tarant says the proposed changes are long overdue.

“The business licence that we currently have is quite outdated and needs to be modernized to catch up with the rest of the province, and to help businesses in the city to plan the future.”

Tarant says currently, the City of Grande Prairie does not need all businesses in the city to be licensed. Food trucks, taxis, and the construction industry are some of just the handful which require a permit as they are more heavily regulated.
He adds the new licence is not a revenue-generating endeavor for the city, and is not a business tax like in the City of Calgary. He argues it is, however, a great way to get up to date information for potential investors looking to spend money in the city.

“[Say] someone wants to put an Olive Garden in Grande Prairie. They want to know what the restaurant industry is like here, how many people are employed in the restaurant industry, how many other businesses of similar nature are there.”

“It’s a real tool,” Tarant adds, “and it’s something we have lacked for quite some time when our Economic Development Officers go out to try and track new businesses to Grande Prairie; they’re not able to give a full picture of what the industry is currently like because we just haven’t had that data most other cities have had for quite some time.”

A pair of online information sessions will occur on August 11 at 3:30 p.m. and September 9 at 7 p.m. Business owners can also take part in a consultation survey until August 19th.