While they may have amended part of its current business licence bylaw surrounding cannabis retail, city councillors still have to finish up the debate on the new business license 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 would also allow the city a better grasp of what services are currently on offer.

Mayor Bill Given says some of the concerns heard by business owners when it comes to a new bylaw surround the fees included in getting a license. Given suggests that’s far from the point of trying to establish the new bylaw.

“The City of Grande Prairie is not looking to develop this into a revenue-generating opportunity, the goal here is to generate additional data which will help our Chamber of Commerce and our Economic Development department.”

At the moment, food trucks, taxis, and the construction industry are three of a handful of business types that require a license to operate within the city. Given says a lack of data from other sectors could present hurdles to those looking to invest in the city, which is something they’re hoping to boost.

“The goal of having more fine-grain business data allows entrepreneurs to identify gaps in the market, or areas where a market may be underserved by certain types of businesses,” he says.

“Today, that is very challenging to do, because it is very difficult for anyone to establish what businesses exist in the City of Grande Prairie, [and] the goal is to get more data and to make that available to entrepreneurs.”

It’s expected debate concerning the monetary concerns of the bylaw will continue next week at the committee level, with a return to council slated to take place November 30th back at a full meeting of council.