Motion calls for paradigm shift, city to serve as partner in businesses' success
VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Tuesday June 23, 2020, City Councillors unanimously approved Councillor Michael Wiebe’s motion asking staff to transform the way the city interacts with and supports local businesses. The motion calls on the city to serve as a partner with businesses with the goal of facilitating their success.
Wiebe’s motion asks for reports back on the feasibility of a permanent Business Communications and Support Portal; a Business Advisory Taskforce; and a program to incentivize innovative uses of empty storefronts.
“I want to see the city working for the benefit of businesses, not getting in the way of their success,” said Wiebe.
“The Pandemic has exposed many vulnerabilities in our current system especially with regards to our small and local businesses, but it has also provided us with the opportunity to make transformative improvements which can serve the business community better now and beyond covid.
“I’ve been inspired to see staff, councillors, business owners and organizations working together to rapidly address the crisis we're facing. I want to see that collaboration persist beyond the pandemic so that we can continue to adjust and improve how the city serves our businesses.”
Wiebe wants to see a Business Communications and Support Portal that consolidates and streamlines city services; is an online platform for all licenses, permits and fees; supports a concierge system that allows business owners a single point of contact when working with the city; is flexible enough to accommodate emerging businesses; provides options for a scaled business licence system; aligns with the work of the “Business License Review Project”; and provides incentives for businesses that meet city priorities.
“I’m hoping the Business Communications and Support Portal will be a one-stop shop for local business owners, non-profits, social enterprises, self-employed individuals, and artists in Vancouver.
“Our current system is onerous and too rigid to keep up with the evolving nature of business. I want to see innovative approaches and services that foster success of all types of businesses, start-ups, and nonprofits.
“We have a ton of empty storefronts and a bunch of organizations that can’t afford a full time lease but need temporary spaces to operate. I would love to see the city provide a unique solution to both these problems with a program that incentivizes the use of these spaces for popups, art and culture, non-profits, social enterprises, and business incubators.
“I am proposing a paradigm shift when it comes to how businesses work with our city; it will require comprehensive reforms and ongoing collaboration between staff and the business community but it is necessary for our city to thrive.”