Business license issues continue in Columbus

Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Business license renewals for this year in the Fountain City are moving at a snails pace, according to several business owners, some currently operating without a license, but they say it’s not their fault.

The issue being the City of Columbus is telling businesses they are short staffed and simply behind, but many local business owners question that statement.

Sources close to the City of Columbus say a recent audit of city departments is turning up issues in the business license division of the finance department. Renewals for this year are not going out on time.

It’s an issue owner of Ride on Smoothie and Juice Bar in Uptown, Tim Snyder, didn’t even know about until he got a delinquency notice in the mail.

“We get the forms to fill out every year around April. I sent my forms and my check in the middle of April, and the check has not been cashed yet and I just got a delinquency letter saying I haven’t completed the forms and sent in the check yet.” said Snyder.

No one from the city seems to be willing to talk about it on record but according to the Council Referrals Section of the city council agenda from Tuesday, it’s an issue the city is aware of.

The document seems to place the blame back on the businesses, saying in part: “This year the renewal date was extended to May 1, which pushes back the processing period because many businesses wait until the deadline and renew by mail.”

According to the document, they have 700 plus renewals pending and so far more than four-thousand have been processed.

According to the city typically the renewal date for business licenses is April 1.

It usually takes four to five months before you receive them: however, some of those businesses say in the past they have received them the same day, now all of a sudden it’s taking several months.

The finance director in the finance director did send a response.