Canadian Pizza Magazine

CFIB recommends reducing patio fees in Atlantic provinces

By Canadian Pizza   

News Business and Operations Premises patio

Halifax – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is recommending that municipalities in Atlantic Canada reduce patio permit costs or completely waive fees for patio permits during the summer season.

CFIB found through an Atlantic Municipal survey that six out of 10 small businesses do not think their municipality prioritizes small business needs and issues.

This sentiment is particularly noticeable during the spring months when restaurant owners begin the process of renewing their patio permits, only to be confronted with the harsh truth of the average patio cost in Atlantic Canada, which stands at a daunting $995, the CFIB said in a news release.

According to the release, sidewalk patios present a viable avenue for small businesses to expand their operations and attract patrons, particularly during peak tourism months. However, in 2023, the cost of a sidewalk patio in Atlantic Canada ranged from $0 (no fees) to $2,690, highlighting the inconsistency in permitting fees across municipalities.


“Often times, small businesses use patios as a way to significantly increase their seating during the summer and capitalize on the tourism season. However, when a patio costs $995 in upfront permitting fees, it’s hard for small businesses to truly capitalize on the much-needed revenue from summertime patios,” said Alex Oulton, Policy Analyst at CFIB.

“A terrific way for all of our favourite restaurants and cafes to draw in more business, especially during peak tourism months, are sidewalk patios,” Oulton said. “Reducing costs for small businesses wanting to add patios is a great way for municipalities to provide direct support.”

The CFIB recommends that municipalities in Atlantic Canada reduce patio permit costs or completely waive these fees.

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