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Sechelt looks to introduce non-profit business licences

New $1 non-profit business licences in Sechelt aim to ease access to funding for societies
Sechelt Municipal Hall
File photo of municipal Hall in Sechelt.

Sechelt is creating a non-profit business licence at a reduced cost to create more opportunities for non-profit organizations to access funding.

Though Sechelt does not have an option for non-profit businesses to secure business licences at a reduced rate, during its March 20 regular meeting council gave three readings to a business licence bylaw amendment that aims to introduce them.

A regular business licence costs $125 annually in Sechelt, and the new non-profit licences would cost $1.

A staff report said that council recently endorsed Sunshine Coast Tourism’s application for a grant for the Visitor Information Centre that required the applicant to have a business licence, or a letter confirming that a business licence was not required.

Mayor John Henderson asked how the district defines non-profit business. 

Corporate officer Kerianne Poulsen said it is “an organization recognized as a society in the Province of British Columbia,” as defined in the bylaw. 

Henderson followed up saying he didn't see this as a helpful solution, fearing that the district may end up with lots of non-compliance cases or people not wanting to register. 

Coun. Darren Inkster said the non-profit business licences were a good idea and that he supports helping businesses get access to external funding. 

Council voted to give the bylaw three readings with Coun. Donna Bell, Henderson and Coun. Dianne McLauchlan opposed. 

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.