In what is undoubtedly a difficult time, the City of Calgary wants to make the work of all kinds of local businesses easier at calgary.ca/business.
The city’s new online business portal makes it easy to start a new business and helps existing businesses continue to thrive. This one-stop destination for business owners offers licenses and permit applications, tax information, projects of interest, grant opportunities, and more.
Instead of previously required visits to the Calgary Municipal Building and loads of forms, budding and established business owners can now get the resources, support, and up-to-date information they need at home from a single URL.
“We wanted to put all the business-related information in one place,” says Sonya Sharp, director of the Calgary City Economy and Local Economy team. “We really wanted to create this one-stop shop.”
The landing page created by Sharp and the rest of the Business and Local Economy team works hand-in-hand with the Business Sector Support Task Force, a unit established by the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force, also led by Sharp, acts as a conduit for businesses in Calgary. It connects the owners with appropriate resources while creating a better understanding of the industry that needs to be applied to the business center.
Knowing that entrepreneurs can work 24/7 to bring their vision to life, the online hub also removes business-only obstacles. If questions arise late at night or on the weekend, messages can be easily left for reply the next business day, while a live chat feature monitored throughout the work day provides an instant connection between users and knowledgeable experts in the city manufactures.
The streamlined, virtual one-window approach to permits is the first of its kind in Canada, with Sharp noting that friendly competition between cities helped drive the initiative forward.
“We all want companies to be in our city,” says Sharp. “Other cities have already reached out to us and said, ‘They have a great website – how did you do it?'”
The city in your corner
The business center, launched on April 7, was the latest in a growing list of community support. Millions of dollars were spent on the local economy last year, including $ 17.6 million on corporate license fees waiver for two years and $ 4.2 million on COVID-19 recovery funding for business improvement areas (Business Improvement Areas, BIAs) to cover companies. 2021 BIA levies.
Other initiatives have shown that Calgary entrepreneurs and locals alike are rewarded. Last year, through federal support, the city made free online stores available to hundreds of businesses and artists using ShopHERE by Google to safely sell their products. Campaigns like #SupportLocalYYC have encouraged Calgarians to think locally. The continued approval of terraces on public land has ensured that locals can enjoy their favorite Calgary beers in the sun this spring and summer, if public health restrictions allow.
In addition to Resources, the Business Hub landing page is regularly updated with the latest relevant news to ensure business owners can find this support in one place.
Beyond normal business
According to Sharp, when creating the new business hub, the Business and Local Business team took into account that helping Calgary businesses is more than the bottom line – it means helping a family, friend, or neighbor. For these reasons, the city is committed to making corporate travel more accessible to help local business owners and, by extension, Calgary as a whole.
“Small local businesses really are the backbone of our economy,” says Sharp. “We want Calgary to be the best place to start, open and run a business.”
To find the information relevant to you as a business owner, visit the new Business Hub landing page at calgary.ca/business. You will discover support services for your business, city service improvements, licenses and permits, business operations, design information, and resources to help you navigate COVID-19.
This content was produced for the advertiser by RedPoint Media for commercial purposes. It was not written by the Avenue staff and does not necessarily reflect their views.