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council chamber333In a report presented to council on March 10, Meaford's Clerk, Robert Tremblay, has advised against the creation of a mandatory business registry and licencing program.

In June of last year, Councillor Barb Clumpus asked council to support a business registry initiative. As a result, staff were asked to investigate the potential for such a program, and report back to council.

In his report to council, Tremblay noted that Meaford already has a voluntary business directory on their website, and the imposition of a licencing and registration system on local businesses would be a burden.

The Municipality of Meaford currently offers a no-charge business directory on its website, which will be improved and include a mobile application in the summer of 2014. Of the comparator municipalities examined, 71 percent provide a no-charge business directory and none require mandatory registration for all businesses. The imposition of additional regulation on businesses is not supported at this time. The existing no-charge business directory can be utilized in a strategic fashion to achieve the goals set out in MEDS, specifically ensuring a productive relationship with all current and potential businesses,” wrote Tremblay in his report.

According to the Clerk, the existing no-charge business directory on the municipal website contains 500 businesses in 24 categories. Listings in the directory also indicate which businesses are members of the Chamber of Commerce.

Council supported the staff recommendation against the implementation of a mandatory business registration system.