Summerside city council is making good on a promise to eliminate red tape to help businesses and developers operate in the community.
Earlier this year, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) issued its Red Tape Report and the results were not good for P.E.I.
Prince Edward Island is tied up in red tape near the bottom of provinces dealing with the issue, receiving a grade of D-.
Councillor Cory Thomas, chairman of Summerside’s technical services committee, said reducing red tape for business development, locally, has been a priority in drafting of the Summerside Official Plan.
Last year the city hired MRSB Consulting Services to conduct a business summit with developers and business people within the community and across the province on their experiences working in Summerside and to provide feedback about that.
That was an important first step. Discussions have to occur with stakeholders regarding which policies are working within the city and which are not.
There is no question that Summerside needs jobs and it is up to business and development to create those jobs. But in order to do that, the city has to provide an environment conducive to bringing in new business and development.
The key thing to do is to always make sure that whatever processes and policies are put in place, that they involve a bottom-up approach and not a top-=down approach.
Business owners and developers the ones that have the financial vested interest in the community. They’re the ones that are going to create the jobs and the city needs to be there to assist them and help stimulate the economy.
The easier it is for a potential businessperson or developer to navigate the various rules and regulations the municipality has, the greater the chances are for success.
Next week, city council will take a step forward in lessening red tape for mobile sales establishments.
Council will deal with a recommendation from the city’s technical services committee to only require these types of businesses to apply for a licence once every three years instead of yearly, if they meet all of the requirements.
This may seem like a small thing but it’s a step in the right direction.
The city’s new Official Plan will be released later this year. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made to reduce and eliminate red tape.