LARGO – City commissioners Oct. 2 approved a moratorium on the $75 temporary event permit application fees in November for Largo businesses that plan to have sidewalk sales, tent sales and other shopping-related events.
The intent is to create awareness of the impact local businesses have on the quality of life in the city. In general for every $1,000 spent at a local owned business, $68 stays in the local economy, Largo officials said.
The request is in conjunction with the city recognizing November as “Largo Small Business Month.”
Last year the city participated in the national Small Business Saturday event, proclaiming Nov. 21 through Nov. 28 as “Largo Small Business Week.”
Staff is also hosting a free business workshop with the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce at the Largo Public Library Wednesday, Nov. 7, 8 a.m.
Although city officials will waive temporary permit fees for businesses, large and small, they still will be required to submit the temporary event application for the city to review for safety purposes.
City Economic Development Manager Teresa Brydon said the city has a bi-monthly e-newsletter it distributes to the business community that it plans to use to get the word out. She also said city officials will work with newspapers, community organizations and business groups it has relationships with to publicize the event.
Commissioner Curtis Holmes said “when we are looking at saving small business $75 on a fee like this, I think we should take a larger approach and look at the impact the city has on small businesses.”
He was referring to the city’s requirement that businesses’ pole signs be replaced with monument signs before June 2017.
“This is a good idea, I have no objection to it, but in the scheme of things, this is chump change,” Holmes said.
Nevertheless, he voted along with the rest of the commission to support the moratorium.