The issue arose following a presentation by Robert Portelance during the April 26 council session on business licence fees for pawnshops. Portelance noted that the current rate for a business licence for a pawnshop is $1200 as of 2017. It used to be $1050 in 2014.
Portelance compared the licence fee for pawnshops in other municipalities, both within Prescott-Russell and outside of the region, and observed that Hawkesbury’s rate is higher than many larger urban centres like Cornwall. He asked council to consider reducing the business licence fee for pawnshops.
That prompted discussion among council members with Councillors Lawrence Bogue and Yves Paquette both agreeing that the licence fee for operating a pawnshop in Hawkesbury seemed high by comparison with other municipalities. Councillor Tsourounakis suggested that the original decision for the licence fee might have been influenced by a desire to limit the number of pawnshops operating in Hawkesbury.
But Tsourounakis, Bogue, and Paquette all agreed that the town’s business licensing policy needs reviewing. Council voted to have administration bring the issue back for further discussion during a future session.