Langford's 'red tape reduction' top in Canada

The City of Langford won the national "Golden Scissors Award" from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for abandoning the annual renewals of business licences.

Staring this year, Langford has made business licences permanent, unless a business moves or significantly changes its operations. Previously, and like in most municipalites, businesses paid an annual renewal fee of $50 for home-based businesses to $100 for small commercial to $200 for large commercial.

A Langford staff report outlined the hassle and time which goes along with preparation and collection of fees, and the fact that many remain outstanding. The report indicated the net loss for the city will be about $50,000.

“It’s such a simple thing, but it makes so much sense - there’s no reason why other cities across Canada can’t do the very same thing tomorrow,” said CFIB executive vice president Laura Jones. “In fact, that’s exactly what CFIB is calling on them to do.”

“Our council felt that adopting a permanent business license was a practical decision that would benefit business owners and citizens alike,” Langford Mayor Stew Young said in a release. “We hope other municipalities look to Langford as a model of what a small business-friendly community can be.”

The award is part of CFIB’s “red tape awareness week.” Langford, a small but fast growing city of about 29,000, beat out 12 red tape reduction initiatives put foward by much bigger fish, all at the provincial and federal levels.

Langford’s initative was selected above Passport Canada’s 10 year passport, the federal goverment’s “one for one” regulation rule, and B.C.’s mobile business licence program.

--with files from Kyle Wells


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