Recently, Merritt City Council approved a quartet of motions aimed at helping businesses get back on their feet post COVID-19.
The ideas were brought forth by the Economic Recovery Task Force which has been meeting for several weeks.
“Due to restrictions on businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are experiencing financial hardship. The Recovery Task Force and staff have developed a number of potential initiatives to assist businesses in re-starting the local economy,” reads the report from Don MacArthur.
The approved motions are temporary and set to expire at the end of 2020.
- Waiving the Development Permit application fee and the requirement to submit professional design drawings for the development of a commercial patio.
- Waiving the Sign Permit application fee and the requirement to submit a colour rendering for the installation of a sign for a home-based business, or commercial or industrial signs.
- Waiving the Development Permit application fee for commercial façade improvements.
- Enabling retail businesses to apply for approval of outdoor display of goods which do not conform to the Business Licence Bylaw regulations, subject to approval by the Planning and Development Manager.
One of the ideas brought forward was using current parking spaces downtown to allow for patio expansions, thus allowing cafes and restaurant move seating capabilities whilst COVID-19 social distancing rules apply.
Currently, business owners may display goods on the sidewalk up to 1 metre from their premises, the relaxation would allow them to expand further.
Local businesses looking to take advantage of the new relaxations should contact City Hall and the Development Services department.
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