Wednesday, November 10, 2010

City Council Drops Business Licence Fee

Trade Show Grosses $28,000.00
To Get Break On Licence Fee

Last city council meeting saw city council support a staff recommendation to reduce fees for trade shows to $41.25 from the current rate of $165.00. Councilor Bestwick asked what the cost was to the city to issue a licence, and while staff did not know it was suggested to be between $40.00 - $65.00. Bestwick felt that the fee should at least cover the cost of issuing the licence.

Basically the council seemed to feel this reduction would be good for Nanaimo as it would attract more trade shows. Mayor Ruttan said he had been contact by a rug salesman who said he would not return to Nanaimo because of the $165 fee.

Do Trade Shows Really Need  A Break??

The floor plan above is for the recently held Nanaimo Fall Home Expo held at Beban Park, put on by a company from Parksville.

They have at least 70 spaces for rent (actually more) and the prices range from $400 to $500 per space with an additional charge of $75 for corner booths.

Using the lowest fee of $400 per booth and assuming only 70 booths, this would result in the operator of the show grossing a minimum of $28,000 for the show. Some of which is returned to the city in the form of rent for the space, and local papers benefit from advertising, aside from that the rest of the profit leaves town.

It would be hard to justify why a show on this scale can not afford to at least pay the city what it costs to issue the licence. Local businesses which participate can indeed help build their business through the exposure, and they are already a part of the local economy and are buying business licences and paying local taxes. However, the merchants which just follow these shows, are able to come to town and sell their wares without buying a business licence or paying any taxes. As for encouraging the lone rug salesman to come to town, I can see little benefit to the local economy as surely he plans to make a profit from his venture which will not be staying here.

As Councilor Kipp points out, if you want to appear welcoming to business, then why not issue the licence for free?


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