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New municipal red tape report: CFIB goes undercover

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How hard is it to start a business in BC? CFIB uses a secret shopper approach to rank 20 municipalities in the province on red tape burdens. 

A new CFIB report shows that Port Moody has the highest and Kelowna has the lowest amount of municipal red tape compared to other municipalities across British Columbia when it comes to starting a local business. 

The report, Red Tape Detective: How Hard is it to Start a Business in BC? analyzes the processes and customer service to assist prospective businesses in 20 municipalities across the province (Metro Vancouver region, Prince George, Kelowna, and Victoria).  

Using a “secret shopper” technique, CFIB staff posed as an entrepreneur trying to open a business in order to gauge the helpfulness of municipalities’ responses to business owners’ queries. The 20 municipal governments were compared and graded on three components: Access to Information, Quality of Information, and Regulatory Framework. 

Some of the key findings include:

  • Prince George and Surrey received a perfect grade in the access to information category (30 out of 30)
  • Kelowna and Coquitlam tied in first for the highest marks for quality of information category (24 out of 30)
  • Kelowna received the top mark, and a perfect grade, for regulatory framework category (40 out of 40)
  • Kelowna placed first overall (86), Delta placed second (81), and the City of Langley paced third (78)
  • Port Moody had the lowest score (42 out of 100).

Individualized recommendations are given to each municipality to help improve the ease of starting and doing business locally. In addition, the report includes several steps municipalities can also take to help cut red tape. For example, it is recommended that cities introduce an online red tape button where users are able to submit their red tape experiences, with the promise that the municipality will respond and help out where they can.

 
To learn more about municipal red tape and what steps can be taken to ease the burden on local BC businesses, read the full report here.
 

Municipal Scores – by total score

Municipality

Access to Information (/30)

Quality of Information (/30)

Regulatory Framework (/40)

Total Score (/100)

Rank

City of Kelowna

22

24

40

86

1

City of Delta

27

20

34

81

2

City of Langley

24

22

31

78

3

City of Victoria

25

17

35

77

4

City of Coquitlam

24

24

28

76

5

City of Prince George

30

23

22

75

6

Township of Langley

23

20

31

74

7

City of Surrey

30

19

24

73

8

City of Richmond

23

21

29

72

9

City of Vancouver

23

23

24

70

10

District of North Vancouver

20

21

27

67

11

City of Maple Ridge

20

22

25

67

11

City of Pitt Meadows

14

15

33

61

13

City of North Vancouver

22

22

17

61

13

City of Burnaby

15

22

24

60

15

District of West Vancouver

25

11

23

59

16

City of White Rock

23

19

15

57

17

City of Port Coquitlam

25

13

18

55

18

City of New Westminster

20

13

18

51

19

City of Port Moody

24

4

14

42

20