The City of Fort Saskatchewan's newly revamped business licence program is helping an increasing amount of members.
 
So far, the economic development department has received 87 more licences this year over 2015.
 
"We're attributing the increase to more businesses in town, which is a good sign of a healthy economy, and it's encouraging given the economic situation," Fort Saskatchewan's economic development director, Mark Morrissey said.
 
Part of the increase is due to existing businesses getting licences after the bylaw update earlier this year. The licenses give the city a significant amount of data.
 
"Once we're aware of the business through the licensing process, we can contact them directly about support programs," added Morrissey.
 
The business support program launched in February, with 16 new applications compared to just a couple in 2015. 13 of those applications were approved, with the city providing over $41,000 to the businesses.
 
Businesses will also be contacted about export development opportunities to the rest of the province, country, the U.S. or Mexico.
 
"But if we're not aware of them if they don't have a licence."
 
Home-based businesses have seen the largest jump in licensing with 361 so far this year compared to 274 last year.
 
In total, the City has 1,359 business licences.
 
Anyone providing goods or services in the City of Fort Saskatchewan is required to have a licence.