Operators of pubs and other establishments that primarily earn money from serving liquor may be able to look forward to a permanent break in business licence costs.
At at governance and priorities committee meeting Monday, July 12, councillors reviewed information presented by city staff regarding proposed amendments to the business licence bylaw and fees and charges bylaw.
Following the presentation, Coun. Sheryl Armstrong made a motion to change the $1,100 annual licence fee charged to pubs to the $165 paid by restaurants and other establishments that earn their primary revenue from serving food.
In early February, Nanaimo city council directed city staff to reduce the $1,100 liquor-primary licence fee to $165 for the balance of 2021, based on a motion put forward by Armstrong in January. Armstrong’s new motion Monday proposes the change be made permanent.
“When this bylaw was in effect, restaurants and food-primary could not sell alcohol without food being purchased,” Armstrong said. “Now that law has change, so you can now go into … places and just have beers and whatever and I think it’s just very unfair now towards the pubs and the nightclubs to have that licence like that, so that’s the rationale behind my motion. I think they’re being treated unfairly versus what food-primary are.”
Armstrong’s motion passed unanimously and will be included with the business bylaws when they return to a future regular council meeting for first, second and third readings.