Vancouver business license fee surcharge refund process streamlined

Local businesses most impacted by pandemic-related restrictions that haven’t yet applied for — or benefitted from — the city of Vancouver’s program to refund business license fee surcharges, are encouraged to apply for a business license fee refund. File photo
Local businesses most impacted by pandemic-related restrictions that haven’t yet applied for — or benefitted from — the city of Vancouver’s program to refund business license fee surcharges, are encouraged to apply for a business license fee refund. File photo

The city recently streamlined the application process, improving the online portal and replacing the original form that required downloading and filling out

VANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver is making it easier for business owners to participate in the city’s business license fee surcharge refund program The city recently streamlined the application process, improving the online portal and replacing the original form that required downloading and filling out.  

The application, which is available in English and Spanish, allows applicants to submit a photo of their business license instead of typing out details. This saves time and simplifies the application from 21 fields to only eight.  

On Mon., April 4, members of the Vancouver City Council unanimously approved an ordinance extending its refund process for eligible businesses. The program is effective April 1-Dec. 31, 2022. Local businesses most impacted by pandemic-related restrictions that haven’t yet applied for — or benefitted from — the city’s program to refund business license fee surcharges, are encouraged to apply for a business license fee refund. Eligible businesses include: 

  • Restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries 
  • Fitness and training facilities, including yoga studios  
  • Movie theaters and performing arts venues 
  • Bowling facilities   

During the last 12 months, the city has returned a total of $95,760 to 110 business owners, but an estimated 500 eligible businesses have not yet applied. 

Originally enacted in April 2020 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide immediate economic relief to city business license holders, the program was renewed previously in 2021.  

For more information or for help applying, businesses can contact business.licenses@cityofvancouver.us or call (360) 487-8410 and select option 3. Visit Business and Special Licenses for more information. 

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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