(TRI-CITIES) March 10, 2016 – The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is requesting that the current Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL) program be expanded to include a new license that encompasses the entire Lower Mainland. The Chamber will be presenting to Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam City Councils on Monday, March 14th and Port Moody on Tuesday, March 15th.

The Tri-Cities Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL) reduces red tape by allowing mobile Tri-Cities businesses to operate in more than one municipality, rather than by obtaining non-resident licences in each municipality in which they operate. Currently there are 11 mobile business license agreements in BC with 73 participating municipalities. In the Lower Mainland there are four programs: Fraser Valley, Metro West, North/West Vancouver, and Tri-cities. Several municipalities participate in more than one if they are conveniently located.

“Our members who have an IMBL indicate that it greatly helps them as they only have one or two licences to worry about. This saves them time and money,” said Michael Hind, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber.

The Tri-Cities Chamber recently participated in a survey distributed through 12 chambers and boards of trade, in partnership with BC Chamber, and representing a membership of over 13,000. Of those responding, more than 80% strongly indicated support for expansion into one convenient program extending from West Vancouver through to Hope.

Further, the survey results indicated that over 40% of respondents throughout the region either were not aware of the IMBL program or had little knowledge of whether a license in another municipality is required if they are just “visiting” a client.

As a result of member feed-back through the survey’s questions and comments, the Tri-Cities Chamber will be asking councils to work together to:

  1. Assess, and if practical, pursue a Regional Inter-Municipal Business Licence program for the Lower Mainland
  2. Develop education and awareness strategies to ensure members are able to take advantage of the opportunities the program provides, and to ensure members are compliant with the various municipalities licensing requirements.

“It is important to have business at the table when business by-laws are developed,” said Hind. “Together we can ensure that the needs of our municipalities and businesses are met while minimizing red tape and keeping fees reasonable.”

About the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce:

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is a proactive network of business-minded individuals that are committed to acting as an accessible, visible, supportive and reciprocal resource to our members and the Tri-Cities at large, communicating their collective voice to help shape a prosperous business community.