SUMMERSIDE - Mobile sales establishments will now have to pay to operate in Summerside.
Council has amended the city's licensing bylaw to require the fees for local and non-local mobile sales establishments. Council set the fees at $500 for local vendors, businesses that own property within the city, and $1,000 for non-local. The licences are valid for one year.
The move comes in reaction to concerns filed by local businesses that they are put at a competitive disadvantage when transient sales operations are allowed to operate free-of-charge within city limits.
"The feedback that we have received from our membership was that there were concerns about transient sales people being able to come to Summerside and sell and compete without having the burden overhead and burden of fees," said Patrick McSweeney president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce.
"We also had concerns about people going to Charlottetown and being forced to pay those fees."
In October 2011, Charlottetown enacted the Transient Traders Bylaw, which requires any outside vendors, who do not operate on a permanent basis in the city, to have a licence to conduct business.
The licence costs $500 per day of operation and any person violating the licensing procedure is guilty of an offense and liable on conviction.
A first offence is punishable by a fine of $1,000 and subsequent offences are punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each day to a maximum fine of $5,000.
Amherst, N.S., has passed an Auto Vendors Bylaw to control the activities of outside firms setting up shop for a weekend to sell cars.
The bylaw requires a $2,000 per day licencing fee and those companies found guilty of operating without a license are liable for a maximum $10,000 fine per day.
Applicants must have a designated location and operate from that site. If an operator wishes to take part in a special event, such as the Summerside Lobster Carnival or a sports tournament or other activity, written permission from the event's organizing committee must be presented to city council at least three days prior to the event.
"We felt it was a city issue and the city has addressed it and it should make it a more fair playing field for our members," McSweeney said.
Up until 2004, Summerside did require licensing fees but opted to drop the provision.
Licences were granted on an individual basis at the discretion of council.
With the reinstatement of the licencing fees, Summerside is now in line with other municipalities in the Maritimes.
Violations of the city's bylaw carry fines of up $1,000. Each day the violation continues will be treated as a separate offence.