City providing more options to support business owners

The City of Calgary is piloting an improved service to help Calgary business owners start and open their businesses faster.

“About 80% of people who visit our planning service counter on the third floor of City Hall are served within 20 minutes,” said Michael van Ham, Acting Manager of Customer Advisory Services. “Now they’ll have a business expert who understands the building, licencing and development permitting and approvals involved to open or maintain a business on-hand and they can have those conversations faster."

The improved service for business owners comes at no additional cost to taxpayers and complements our virtual myBusiness hub where business owners can get permitting and business licensing online with the support of a live chat to answer your questions as you work through the process. “As the first in Canada to provide this level of online support, Calgary’s online process is well used, however face-to-face support can sometimes be more helpful which is why we’ve taken this hybrid approach to offer more options to help our business community,” said van Ham.

“Over the past few years, it’s been challenging for Calgary businesses, and we’ve heard that we need to improve how we support citizens looking to start, grow and maintain a business,” said Sonya Sharp, Leader of the Business and Local Economy team. “Improvements like what we are doing for businesses at our counter, or the resources we have made available online are just the start of what we can do. This is an ongoing journey and we’re focused on being business friendly over the long-term and doing everything we can to identify opportunities for improvement to City services to enable Calgary businesses to be successful.”

For more information on what we are doing to help Calgary businesses, visit

Calgary is a dynamic and resilient city and The City of Calgary and its partners are committed to our economic recovery to make life better every day for citizens, customers, communities and businesses. To learn more about our efforts to support Calgary’s Comeback, visit