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A file photo of the patio outside Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub in uptown Saint John. Image: Elizabeth MacLeod

Patio permit fees hurt small business: CFIB

By Brad Perry May 16, 2024 | 5:08 PM

Atlantic Canadian businesses are calling on municipalities to either reduce or waive patio permit fees.

Restaurants spend an average of $995 on patio permit fees, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Policy Analyst Alex Oulton said small businesses often use patios to help increase their seating during the summer.

“However, when a patio costs $995 in upfront permitting fees, it’s hard for small businesses to truly capitalize on the much-needed revenue from summertime patios,” Oulton said in a news release.

In 2023, the cost of a sidewalk patio in Atlantic Canada ranged from $0 to $2,690, according to the federation.

Oulton described the patio permit fees as a “tax on summer.”

“The hospitality industry was among the hardest hit during the pandemic and continues to bear the brunt of challenging economic times,” he said.

“Reducing costs for small businesses wanting to add patios is a great way for municipalities to provide direct support.”