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Licensed for Business

In most Arizona communities, your business must be licensed in order to do business there. The license is obtained from the local government—usually for a nominal fee—and the license requires basic information about each business. Why? There are a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are to better understand the mix of businesses here and what they do, to have appropriate contact names for each business, and to be aware of any safety matters with the businesses. Why do we need to know who is doing business here? A fairly common scenario at the Chamber is a question about how many businesses are there in Prescott (we don’t know without requiring a business license), and what types of businesses are in Prescott (again, we don’t know exactly). This becomes important for economic development reasons. A company considering a move or expansion into Prescott wants to have a good idea on available labor force and potential competitors. We can’t provide that information today without a business license for all businesses. To me, one of the more important reasons for a license is safety. If something happens at your business overnight such as a break-in or a fire, having up-to-date contact information allows police and fire officials to quickly notify the business owner. If the license information includes information about any hazardous materials on-site, this will help the fire department treat any fire safely. Although business licenses are common in most communities, it is not the case here in Prescott. Although it has been discussed before, past City Councils have not approved a license here. It’s now being reviewed and discussed again. City staff has told us that their proposal would be for a simple, basic questions-type of license that would require a nominal fee and would not be implemented as a money-maker for the City. Council members may have other ideas.We will find out when the Council discusses this at their Feb.2 workshop session. No action will be taken, but the Council will no doubt discuss possible options. The Chamber Board has discussed the business license proposal, but not made a decision yet on a final position. We will be following the Council discussions closely and may poll our members depending on the Council’s reactions to the business license proposal. Stay tuned. This issue may take a while to decide.