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Small business

We want to hear from small business owners on City strategies, studies, and initiatives affecting small businesses. Your input will influence the development of our policies, services, and programs.

Join our mailing list to be informed of updates relevant to small businesses, as well as opportunities to provide your insight into how we should shape our city.

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What's happening

Council approves Development Potential Relief Program

On March 8, 2023, City Council approved a pilot Development Potential Relief Program to provide tax relief to independent, small businesses, and community partners who are paying disproportionately high taxes due to the assessed value of their properties based on their development potential.

Learn more about the program

City Council approves a 2% tax shift from non-residential to residential property classes

The approved tax shift for 2019 is intended to provide savings for business property owners. To further address challenges faced by small businesses, in particular those affected by tax increases arising from development potential, we're working with an inter-governmental working group to identify viable solutions such as split assessment, split tax bill, and tax deferral.

Read more about the shift in tax levy

Small business guide

We've recently launched a small business guide, which provides a one-stop on-line small business resource, featuring:

  • Permitting, licensing, and other requirements by the City, as well as other governments and agencies
  • Other resources, programs, touch points affecting small business
  • Key resources and supports provided by outside organizations and agencies

Open the small business guide

Small business roundtable

To help inform the review of our current approach to support small businesses, we recently held a roundtable with a variety of small business owners and experts. The session included discussion of key issues faced by different sectors and ideas for what we could do to support small businesses and encourage an environment where small businesses can thrive.

Download the summary report from the event (7 MB)

Current initiatives

There are many initiatives underway with small business components, organized within five key areas:


We provide services to small businesses throughout their lifecycle, including permits and licenses.


We have several initiatives that provide support to small businesses to open, expand, and thrive.

Economic development

We've undertaken a number of initiatives to promote and strengthen local business, provide the tools for Vancouver's businesses to flourish while incorporating sustainable practices, and make the city an attractive destination for businesses around the world.

Policies and research

Research is critical to ensure we have the information required to develop policies that support our overall goals, including creating an environment where small business can thrive.

We're working with the Province on exploring options for targeted tax policy options, as well as doing research on several areas critical to the future success of small business.


Our small business webpage provides information on City updates, initiatives, and projects relevant to the small business community and other interested parties.

Starting a small business

Key resources to help you plan, finance, register, locate, license, and operate your business in Vancouver.