The district will no longer do business with any Sooke company that does not hold a valid district or inter-municipal business licence.
The move, says Coun. Brenda Parkinson, will create a level playing field for businesses in Sooke.
“We should be supporting businesses in Sooke that do have valid licences,” Parkinson told council earlier this week.
Businesses are required to buy a business licence annually.
Earlier this year, Sooke council sought guidance from municipal staff on its business licensing bylaw, after it was revealed many merchants in Sooke don’t buy a business licence.
Council looked at the idea of possibly eliminating business licences, but changed that focus when many companies stepped forward saying such a move could hinder business that need licenses for insurance, financing and even exporting.
And it appears some companies are coming around to the idea of buying business licences.
Two of Sooke’s biggest companies have indicated, or are in the process, of buying business licences, said chief administrative officer Teresa Sullivan.
The district makes many purchases throughout the year from catering and supplies to equipment and advertising.
Mayor Maja Tait said council always makes an effort to buy Sooke first.
“We always need to provide good value for our taxpayers,” she said.
“We have this business licensing program in place and let’s recognize the businesses that follow the rules.”
Business licences cost $50 to $250.
The fines for not have a business licence can be up to $10,000 per day.