Press Release: Councillors Davison and Sutherland Advocate for Small Business COVID-19 Relief; Propose Waiving Licensing Fees to $0 for Two Years for All Businesses

March 19, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 19, 2021

 Councillors Davison and Sutherland Advocate for Small Business COVID-19 Relief; Propose Waiving Licensing Fees to $0 for Two Years for All Businesses 

Calgary, AB- Recognizing the severe economic pressures affecting Calgary’s small businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and following consultation with stakeholders in the business community, Councillors Jeff Davison and Ward Sutherland, Council’s representative on the City’s Business Advisory Committee, are calling on Calgary City Council to waive business licensing fees to $0 in 2021 and 2022 for both new business licenses and existing-business license renewals.

“Calgary’s small businesses have been severely impacted by COVID-19. By waiving license fees to $0 for new and existing businesses, we are committed to proving that Calgary is ready and open for business,” said Davison.

In early March, Councillor Davison successfully advocated that Council provide over $30M in COVID-19 relief for Calgary’s businesses. Davison and Sutherland’s new call to action comes as Council will debate options for targeted relief for business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22.

City Administration has recommended that City Council free licenses at $0 for 2021 only. Davison and Sutherland will be seeking amendments to this plan so that it extends into 2022.

“This is about restoring the Calgary Advantage and promoting Calgary as the place to do business in Western Canada,” said Sutherland. “We know that the economic recovery from COVID-19 will take time. By waiving license fees for a longer time, we hope to give breathing room to small businesses now and as they start up again.”

Current business licensing fees range anywhere from $100 to $1,284 for new businesses and $64 to $782 for renewals. The estimated cost of the fee waiver is $9 Million per year.

Waiving business licenses is Phase 1 of Davison and Sutherland’s plan to offer relief to Calgary’s business. Following consultation with the Business Advisory Committee, Davison and Sutherland will be providing a new proposal for further relief in Q2 2021.

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Media contact:

Frano Cavar, Chief of Staff – Ward 6 Office

(403)519-6046

[email protected]

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