Caution | State of local emergency renewed until May 24, 2021

Get Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information on closures, cancellations and service changes.

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COVID-19: Supporting businesses

The City of Calgary is providing supports to help businesses continue their operations through the fall and winter months as they follow Alberta Health Services guidelines.

What supports are available?

Business licence-related fee relief

In addition to financial support and fee relief already in place for businesses dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are waiving business licence-related fees for 2 years, starting March 17, 2021.

These services will be free until March 16, 2023:

  • Business licence (new: $172, renewal: $131)
  • Fire inspection (new: $64/$104/$202 depending on business type, renewal: $80)
  • Planning ($41)
  • Calgary Police Service ($65)

Patio Fee Relief

We are extending support to Calgary businesses by waiving development permit, licence of occupation and temporary permission fees for patios for the 2021 season.

Prioritized applications

  • Development permits required for Outdoor Cafés on private land will be prioritized. Visit apply for an outdoor café or patio, or call 403-268-5311 to speak to a subject matter expert.
  • Building permits related to Outdoor Cafes, Outdoor Waiting/Sales Areas and Interior Partitions, as described above, will be prioritized. For questions regarding these applications, please call 403-268-5311 to speak to a subject matter expert.

No Building Permit required for tents/structures covering new and existing patios

Permit exemption requirements:

  • A structure not more than 10 sq.m. in area (e.g. a 10’x10’ tent)
  • Tents that are:
    • more than 3 metres from another structure, AND
    • do not cover more than 60 square metres of ground (whether it is one tent or a group of tents), AND
    • do not contain commercial cooking equipment, BBQ’s or any heating elements. There are some cooking, heating and lighting exemptions listed in this advisory bulletin.

Special Functions

A special function is a short-term, temporary event that may have temporary structures (e.g. tents, tables, stages, bleachers) set up. Permit exemptions may apply depending on size and duration. Find details on the two classifications at special events on private property. For questions regarding these applications, please call 403-268-5311 to speak to a subject matter expert.

Development Permits are required for

  • new outdoor cafes/patios,
  • new covered cafes/patios,
  • covering or modifying existing cafés/patios 

Business licence

A City business licence is required for new outdoor patios and when serving food and/or alcohol.


New and existing patios that would like to cover, or modify their patio will require inspections for the fire occupancy load, building permit, development completion permit and Provincial Authorities with jurisdiction such as, Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) and Alberta Health Services (AHS).

For more information, speak with our live chat or call 403-268-5311.