Businesses cheer mobile licences

Duncan, Lake Cowichan, North Cowichan and Ladysmith have partnered with their neighbours to ensure a smoother flow of business across central Vancouver Island jurisdictions. The four Cowichan communities are among 12 in the mid-Island region that established a Mobile Business Licence agreement. North Cowichan adopted its bylaw on Dec. 4 but the program was officially kicked off Dec. 19 in Parksville.

When the agreement comes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, it will allow certain businesses (plumbers, electricians, architects, general contractors and mechanical engineers) to more effectively move about the Island and provide their services.

The agreement allows businesses to buy just one licence instead of having to get non-resident permits for each different municipality where they work.

"At Bayshore Construction, we have projects and clients throughout the Central Vancouver Island region. With Mobile Business Licences in place, we can now spend less time on paperwork and more time working hard to provide exceptional service for all of our customers," said owner Rob McGorman.

"Thanks to all of the municipalities and the Province of B.C. for simplifying the process. Not only is it easier to do business in the area, it also creates a business environment where we can thrive." In addition to the four CVRD communities, Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni, and Qualicum Beach have all signed on. Similar agreements have been reached in other regions throughout the province and the Yukon.

Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business said working with local governments to expand the Mobile Business Licence program is a key commitment in the B.C. Jobs Plan.

"The B.C. government is committed to working with local governments to find ways to support businesses and streamline processes in every community. Mobile business licences cut red tape for contractors and others who may work in more than one community, and we will continue to work to get other municipalities to adopt the program and reap the rewards," she said.

Visit www.resourcecentre.gov.bc.ca/mobile.html to learn more about the Mobile Business Licence program.