Council passes streamlined business license bylaw

A new streamlined business license and rate bylaw was passed by council at the Monday, Jan. 23 regular meeting. The new bylaw looks at ways to make it easier to conduct business in High River, for both residents and non-residents, by simplifying and improving the business licensing process.

“Developing ‘business friendly’ policies that make things easier for both current, as well as new businesses, is a high priority,” said Jodi Dawson, manager of economic development for the Town. “We want to support our business community, as well as attract new residents and investors to town and it is important that the business licensing process is straight forward and easy to follow.”

One of the major changes to the bylaw was to combine the “Storefront” and “Home Occupation” licenses into one category named “Resident.” There will now be just one license for all businesses operating in High River, whether it is located in a resident’s home, or at a commercial location. The rates have also been harmonized, which means that businesses operating out of a home will see savings when applying for or renewing their business license.

Another important change was renaming the “Student” category to “Youth” and increasing the age from 18 to 25. Entrepreneurs that are 25 years old or under can now apply for a no charge business license.

“We want to encourage our own young people to stay and invest here, while also encouraging young people from outside of the community to establish themselves here. This is a small policy change that can help us do that,” added Dawson.

Additional changes to the bylaw included:

· Added a monthly option for temporary or seasonal business to provide more flexible options for businesses that may only be in operation for part of the year.

· Created a “good neighbour” discounted rate for residents from the MD of Foothills.

· General clean-up and changes to the bylaw for clarity and to simplify the administrative process for Town of High River staff.

This article was originally posted on the Town of High River Website. To view the original article click here

Small Business Tax Credit Elimination not good for Business

High River Chamber of Commerce President Steven Muth was disappointed to see the Liberal Government eliminate the Small Business Jobs Tax Credit.

“The elimination of the Federal Small Business Jobs Tax Credit is not good news for local job seekers.”

That from High River Chamber of Commerce President Steven Muth, who says the credit, which allowed business owners to claim back a tiny bit of their portion of an employee’s E.I., wasn’t costing taxpayers much.

“It was just a good little carrot if you will, to help business owners feel good about hiring extra staff.”

Muth says with the increase to the minimum wage, the carbon tax and elimination of this and other credits, small business owners are going to think twice about hiring new employees.

High River businesses are facing some tough decisions in the years ahead as they wrestle with government legislation in Alberta’s challenging economic climate, according to Steven Muth, High River and District Chamber of Commerce President.

Click to read more on – Business Community Grapples with Government Legislation

High River Chamber Of Commerce Wraps Up Year With Annual General Meeting

Nov 24, 2016

The High River Chamber of Commerce held it's Annual General Meeting this Thursday afternoon at the Highwood Golf Country Club.

The High River Chamber of Commerce held it’s Annual General Meeting this Thursday afternoon at the Highwood Golf Country Club.

Chamber President Steven Muth says like everything else, chamber memberships are going up in 2017.


Chamber President Steven Muth

Chamber President Steven Muth

“Most members of the Chamber will see their dues increase fifteen dollars per year, not a significant financial impage to the businesses but unfortunately an increase just the same.”

Muth says it’s a minor increase and adds it’s the first the chamber has had in several years.

He says dues may be on the increase but so is membership which climbed from 165 in 2015 to 190 in 2016.

He says in the last three years he’s seen positive changes between the chamber and town council.

“There’s been a huge improvement in the working relationship and the communication between the chamber of commerce, town council and town administration. The future is pretty bright when you get everybody pulling in the same direction.”

He says among his plans for the new year he wants to share best practices with the Okotoks Chamber of Commerce.

“For 2017 we’re going to try and put on some joint educational presentations that some of our members have been asking for in relation to employment standards, staffing and marketing.”


High River Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynette McCracken was honoured for her years of service.

High River Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynette McCracken was honoured for her years of service.



Ted Dawnson aka Buddy the Elf sharing information about the upcoming holiday events and activities in High River.

Ted Dawson aka Buddy the Elf sharing information about the upcoming holiday events and activities in High River.

Registration is now open for the Santa Parade

Registration open for Santa Claus parade

The 30th Annual Santa Claus Parade will travel through High River’s beautifully decorated downtown on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 starting at 6:30 p.m.

The parade will feature over 60 entries and include family-friendly events like hay rides, live music, craft fair and more. Fire pits, hot dogs and hot chocolate along the parade route will ensure everyone stays warm while watching the parade.

Registration for the parade is now open and entry forms can be downloaded from under the ‘ Things to do’ menu.

Insurance coverage for floats will be provided by a policy created specifically for the event by Co-operators, High River. There will be no need to send a confirmation of your insurance. Please note you are required to have valid vehicle insurance and registration.

Judging will be done during the parade this year and entries are encouraged to creatively engage the crowd, and have fun!

Please complete and return your entry form prior to November 25th, 2016.

Request From a Community Group

Dear High River Friends,

The Lake Bonavista Novice Three Breakers are hosting an eight team 4×4 team bonding event December 10, 2016 in your beautiful High River area at the Bob Snodgrass Recreation complex.

This event will be a fun one day, four on four, team building day which will include two games, relay races, skills competitions, team time, and a lunch.

150 novice aged (7 & 8 year old) hockey players and their families from the Calgary area will be in attendance.

We would love to be able to showcase your beautiful rebuilt High River to all of the families in attendance, encourage them to see firsthand how far High River has come and support the High River Community by shopping and enjoying what you have to offer.

In order to make this happen we were wondering if you had anything you would like to donate for us to hand out to these 150 families.

As a contributor and host to our event, beautiful High River and your services will be highlighted in our program.

We are also looking for community member support – if you know of anyone who would like to contribute to our event please pass our information along.

We hope we can count on your contribution in order to make this year’s 4×4 jingler extravaganza an amazing experience for our children as well as a huge COMMUNITY success!

Thank you for your time in considering this request.

If you have any questions, please call Kari Schwab at 403.869.5274.


Kari Schwab

Tournament Organizer

Lake Bonavista Breakers Novice Three 4×4 Jingler Extrava

Land Use Bylaw Information Session

Thursday 10 November 2016, 05:30pm – 08:00pm

Please join us for an information session on the Town of High River’s Land Use Bylaw Major Review November 10 at the Bob Snodgrass Recreation Complex from 5:30-8pm.
What will future building and development look like in High River? How can the Town encourage growth rather than hinder it?
These questions and many others, will be addressed in a major update to the Town’s Land Use Bylaw. The Town has initiated a re-write of the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) in order to bring it in line with the Town Plan and Council’s Strategic Direction.

The Land Use Bylaw is the regulatory tool to guide development throughout the Town.
The goal of a new Land Use Bylaw is to be more user-friendly, to allow for more flexibility, to encourage growth and development rather than hinder it, and to allow for decisions to be based on the following Principles.

The two Guiding Principles of the new Land Use Bylaw are:
To put people first
§ To provide a high level of service to citizens in their built form
§ To emphasize form over function (use) as form is permanent
§ To emphasize walkability
§ To remove any unnecessary rules
To allow for (sustainability) stewardship of the land for the long term
§ Use ‘100 year eyes’ (long term goals over short term gain)
§ To emphasize design quality
There will be several opportunities to participate through community events and stakeholder workshops. Click here to view the community engagement & communications plan
Please check the town website often for updated information.