Council takes a step towards approving Inter-Community Business Licenses

ICBLs will allow businesses to operate in Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford with one license.

By Ezra Black

On Nov. 14, Fernie Council heard third reading of the Inter-Community Business License (ICBL) Bylaw.

According to a municipal release, the passing of the bylaw will mean that mobile businesses can purchase one ICBL to operate in Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford instead of having to buy a separate license from each community.

Businesses with premises in two or more of the towns will still require a Municipal Business License for each storefront.

Council also heard third reading of an amended Business Licensing and Regulation Bylaw No. 2028, which is being modified to accommodate ICBLs.

“The biggest change is, the license fee is going from $80 to $100. This is to bring the fees in Elkford Fernie and Sparwood into alignment,” said Suzanne Garand, City of Fernie deputy clerk.

Both bylaws could be adopted at the Nov. 28 council meeting.

Fees collected from the ICBL will be directed to the Elk Valley Economic Initiative.

In addition, food trucks will not be permitted to purchase ICBLs, she said.

“The reason for that is each of the communities wanted to control where food trucks get to set up,” said Garand. “So they’ve been excluded.”

She also noted that both Elkord and Sparwood are in the process of modifying their own business license bylaws.