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Mar 05, 2019 Return to Headlines

Business LinQ Builds on Successful First Year

by Rebecca Vaughan |

COQUITLAM, BC, Mar. 5, 2019 Close to 400 happy customers, a provincial award and other accolades marked the first year of Business LinQ, Coquitlam’s business resource centre.

The free service opened at Coquitlam City Hall in January 2018 with the aim of helping existing and prospective business owners link to City resources and get help starting a business and navigating City processes. Dedicated staff provide assistance and referrals in person and by phone and email.

First Year Successes
During its first year, Business LinQ:

  • Assisted 385 clients – 78 per cent of them in person;
  • Received a 95 per cent satisfaction rating from an ongoing client survey, with positive remarks about the time savings and helpful information;
  • Earned the City a Community Project Award from the British Columbia Economic Development Association;
  • Was nominated for a Golden Scissors Award during Red Tape Awareness Week by the B.C. branch of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses;
  • Scored highly in CFIB’s Red Tape Detective report, which used secret shopper techniques to rate processes for starting a business in cities across the province,
  • Conducted a variety of outreach activities, including organizing a small business pop-up event with Small Business BC, offering customized information sessions through organizations such as SUCCESS, and participating in the Welcome to Coquitlam event, and
  • Hosted a number of delegations from other cities interested in the concept.

A report to Council Mar. 4 summarizing Business LinQ’s inaugural year showed that close to half of its clients were home-based businesses (46 per cent), followed by commercial businesses (30 per cent) and mobile vendors (nine per cent).

Almost all clients inquired about business licences, with the next most frequent query being zoning issues (25 per cent), tenant improvements (15 per cent) and signs (six per cent.

Looking Ahead to 2019
The City’s Business Licensing group – which operates Business LinQ – plans to leverage the successes and feedback of the first year to continue to improve service to the growing number of businesses in Coquitlam (6,845 businesses licences were issued in 2018, 20 per cent of them to new enterprises).

Planned activities for 2019 include a Small Business Information Session at City Hall in April that will bring together related government and service organizations. Changes to the client satisfaction surveys and follow-ups with former clients are also in the works.

As well, updates planned for business licence applications in 2020 will lay the groundwork for future online licensing options and other customer service enhancements.

About Business LinQ
Coquitlam’s Business LinQ resource centre offers local business owners a convenient way to link to resources and get help with navigating City processes.

The service is free of charge, and can be used to:

  • Learn what is required to start and operate a business in Coquitlam;
  • Get one-on-one guidance on City permitting and regulatory processes – including licensing, zoning, inspections, and building, plumbing and sign permits; and
  • Find out about City services and programs that support businesses, including the Economic Development Office.

Business LinQ can help business owners save time and avoid making costly mistakes, such as signing a lease for a space in an inappropriate zone. The service can also connect owners to resources that can help their business thrive and grow in Coquitlam.

Business LinQ is on the Main Floor in City Hall near the stairs, and is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.coquitlam.ca/businesslinQ or contact businesslinq@coquitlam.ca or 604-927-3975.

Media contact:
Stephanie James
Director Legal & Bylaw Enforcement
604-927-3092
sjames@coquitlam.ca

 

Media Inquiries

Manager, Corporate Communications - Kathleen Vincent
Phone: 604-927-3019
Cell: 604-218-1319
Email: media@coquitlam.ca