Glen takes up the challenge to “do the math” on those 972 business licences

Dear Editor:

It was mentioned several times at the Mayor’s Forum by David Raven, that there have been over 900 Business Licences issued in the last year. In fact, what the Mayor said was that the City had issued “972 Business Licences in the past eight months, that’s 40 weeks” and then he said “do the math”… so I did.

Now to me 972 new businesses in eight months seems like a lot of new businesses. That’s approximately 7.5 new businesses for each man women and child in Revelstoke. That is:

  • 121.5 new businesses a month.
  • 24.3 new businesses a week.
  • 4.86 new businesses a day.

At this rate City staff are processing 1.65 new Business Licences per hour!! It’s no wonder City staff are so busy, this town must be booming. The revenue from Business Licences alone should clear off the town’s debt, or at least cover the salary for another Communication Director.

Personally, I have not seen that many new businesses around town so I thought I’d do some research. Now I’m not a Consultant, nor am I a Bureaucrat, and I only possess a Sharp pocket calculator and not an MBA, so I suspect my findings will be wildly debated and immediately dismissed by those who crunch numbers deep into the night, in the dark demolished bowels of City Hall.

I reviewed the City’s Monthly Business Licence Summaries for the past eight months and what I found is there have been 92 new Business Licences issued and 34 old one cancelled. Of those 92 new licences 29 of them, or 31.5% (almost 1/3), were issued to out of town businesses who were working here temporally. These are the contactors and installers that are forced to buy a licence to work here for a week, or a day, or a couple of months, and then pass the cost of the licence on the end user… you.

So once you eliminate the 29 non-local businesses this leaves 63 new Business Licences. That is a 93.5% decrease from the 972 touted by the Mayor. That is:

  • 7.89 new businesses a month.
  • 1.58 new businesses a week.
  • 0.32 new businesses a day.

Which means City staff are processing 0.039375 new Business Licences per hour!!

So this would account for the current fiscal situation in City Hall, they can’t do simple math. This leads me to question our debt… is it really $17.9 million or is it $1.79 million? Either way I think someone is playing with the numbers.

Glen O’Reilly
Revelstoke, BC