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Marystown council on the lookout for covert businesses

The Town of Marystown is working to track down businesses that are operating in the community without following the proper procedures.

That includes applying for permits and paying the corresponding commercial taxes to the municipality.

Planning and development control director Alje Mitchell confirmed council has been made aware of some illegitimate businesses, who use social media to advertise, by private residents, as well as other concerned business owners. 

Mitchell said such operations could have an adverse effect on those playing by the rules.

“If a contracting company is registered with the Town of Marystown and are paying their taxes, or any company for that matter (that) is paying their taxes, and the competition is on Facebook advertising and getting clients through that and not paying their proper business tax, than obviously that’s affecting everyone who is out (there) doing it the legitimate way,” he said.

Mitchell, who said the unregistered businesses he has been in contact with have been cooperative, feels the people responsible may just be unaware of the procedures. Registering allows them to openly advertise to attract additional clients, he noted.

Though no illegal businesses have been shut down to date, Mitchell said the town’s bylaws give council the power to do so.

“We have the right to shut them down by way of a stop work order, and if that doesn’t work, we can always involve the justice system,” he said.

“Under the Municipalities Act and the Urban Rural Planning Act, we have the right to shut them down.”

Mitchell said the town isn’t trying to discourage businesses from starting up.

“We are just here to help out and just make sure that everyone is on an equal playing field.”

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