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City Launches Business Registry to Provide Needed Data for Transportation and Planning Solutions

Joining nearly every other city in California, Palo Alto today launched a business registry that will provide data to help measure comprehensive employment trends, business growth and economic activity.  The data will help to inform and measure the effectiveness of programs to reduce traffic congestion and parking issues, as well as help inform zoning decisions and public safety planning and response efforts.    

"The availability of this data is vital to developing and implementing effective transportation measures to reduce solo driving and traffic congestion, and will give us a clearer picture of the mix of businesses in Palo Alto as part of our zoning and planning decisions," said Palo Alto Mayor Karen Holman.  

In November 2014, the Palo Alto City Council passed an ordinance creating a requirement for all businesses operating in “fixed places of business” to register with the City on an annual basis. The City of Palo Alto business registry requirement only applies to businesses physically located in a fixed place of business in Palo Alto.  Businesses located in other cities but operating here (such as contractors, consultants, real estate agents, etc.) do not need to register.  

In order to make the process as simple as possible, the City has developed an easy-to-use website for online registration at http://registermybusiness.cityofpaloalto.org.  Businesses can register by filling out an online questionnaire and paying a flat fee of $50 via major credit card that is due by March 31.   

The City is providing an additional grace period to April 30 to inform and educate the business community about the requirement before any enforcement actions are necessary.  Thousands of businesses were sent a letter informing them of the requirement that included information about how to register online.  

The business registry flat fee will cover only the administrative expenses of the program, and will not be a revenue generating tool for the City. Most businesses will have the necessary data readily available and be able to fill out the questionnaire and pay the fee online in a few minutes.

To find out more about the City of Palo Alto's Business Registry, go to www.cityofpaloalto.org/businessregistry or call 650/329-2360.

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