Rossland city councillors have decided against waiving fines for local businesses that aren’t carrying a business licence in 2020 due to financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, councillors have instructed city staff to look at provincial or federal programs to help provide licence refunds for specific Rossland businesses which are struggling financially.
Despite the decision, Rossland chief financial officer Elma Hamming said there might be some implications around providing refunds.
“It might not just be as simple as all that because not only is there the City of Rossland business licence, there’s also the inter-community and inter-municipal business licences that people only get through the City of Trail or other regional partners,” said Hamming.
“So, we can’t really refund all of that because the money is shared between other municipalities.”
Councillor Andy Morel said it might make sense for the city to have additional security measures to help determine what business are applicable for a licence refund.
“If people decide they want to apply back for a business licence refund, maybe they should have to prove that they’re challenged and need the funds to actually support their business,” said Morel.
Mayor Kathy Moore said provincial and federal programs would help determine which Rossland businesses are eligible for a refund.
Numerous Rossland businesses already have had to shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19.