Calgary city council looks at extending fee relief for local businesses amid COVID-19

On Monday, Calgary councillors will review a report from city administration that recommends they extend fee relief measures for local businesses, including one that makes it less expensive for restaurants to set up patios.

The fee relief measures were put in at the start of May and are set to end on Oct. 31, but city administration recommends the measures remain in place another six months until April 30, 2021.

Read more: Coronavirus: Calgary to allow shops, restaurants to expand patios to allow for social distancing

In the report, administration explains that the COVID-19 pandemic is still presenting economic challenges for both local businesses and customers.

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“It is important in this unprecedented time that supports are available to customers, developers, and business owners while being sensitive to the need to fund city operations,” the report states.

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It’s anticipated the proposed extension of the fee relief measures would cost the city less than $1 million over the six months, the report adds.

“Any revenue reductions as a result of the fee relief measures can be offset by drawing from the Planning and Development Sustainment Reserve,” the report states.

Read more: Calgary mayor encourages restaurants to winterize patios, keep them open as long as possible

According to the report, the City of Calgary has seen a 288 per cent increase in the number of so-called outdoor café development permits submitted (62 in total) since the fee relief measures were implemented on May 1.

“Waiving these fees provides a direct benefit to restaurant owners and potential builders as they move forward with their projects,” the report states.

= With files from Sarah Offin

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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