County of Brant Council approved a temporary home-based business program and pilot project to help support home-based businesses in the County of Brant.
“The ongoing pandemic has impacted local businesses immensely, with many having to adapt operations to meet their new realities”, said Russell Press, Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “This new program will allow businesses who have needed to leave their commercial and retail spaces to operate out of their home.”
The new program expands what is currently permitted as a home-based business under the zoning by-law. Eligible businesses may operate within a primary residential dwelling, an accessory structure such as a garage or shed, or outside on the property, subject to specific criteria outlined in the by-law.
“This program, while supporting businesses that are existing, will also assist entrepreneurs as a first step in opening a business,” said Press. “Conceivably, a business could begin operations out of their home and as it grows, move to a shared retail space or potentially acquire its own standalone space. This program and pilot project is designed to assist in mitigating the negative impacts to our small business community brought on by the pandemic while also assisting in the ongoing efforts of recovery and growth for businesses in the County of Brant.”
Businesses that are planning on utilizing this program will need to follow policies and regulations as designed by the County of Brant Planning division. Some of these include additional on-site parking requirements and compliance with matters such as noise, odour, fumes and other defined nuisances. Additionally, if a business is looking to make changes to their home to accommodate a business-use, all existing policies remain including the possible need to obtain a building permit.