In response to complaints about outside furniture sales
AMHERST – A year after tweaking its transient vendors bylaw on recreational vehicles and travel trailers, Amherst is looking to extend the bylaw to other outside vendors.
Council has asked staff to explore other areas where the bylaw is needed, including furniture sales. If the town does expand the bylaw, it will ensure some transient vendors pay an appropriate fee to reflect the services provided.
“We want staff to come back with proposals that will address outside firms coming into town and competing against established business that pay taxes and employ local people,” Deputy Mayor George Baker said Friday. “We already have the bylaw for vehicles and RVs, but we need to see if it has to be extended to other areas.”
Amherst enacted a transient automobile vendors bylaw in 2006. The bylaw places restrictions on outside auto firms setting up in parking lots on a temporary basis. The intent of the bylaw is to protect established auto retailers.
The bylaw requires outside firms to pay $2,000 a day in licensing.
It last looked at extending the bylaw in 2009, but scuttled it after looking at what’s being done in other areas of the province.
Baker said the bylaw has come up again after concerns were raised by several furniture business about outside companies coming into town, renting space for a couple of days and selling product.
“We have a number of established companies in town, like Bargain Bennies and the Brick, that are paying taxes here. They feel as though they are at a competitive disadvantage when another company comes into town and rents the curling club or another location and has a sale,” Baker said.
A transient vendor would be defined as person temporarily selling new goods, wares or merchandise out of a vehicle, trailer or otherwise for a period of less than 14 consecutive days.
Baker said he doesn’t expect the bylaw to be extended to other vendors such a charities.