Small business

New online service to help convenience stores

Province launches its Convenience Store Online Bundle to make it easier for owners to start or grow their business.

The minister of Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey announcing a new service for convenience store businesses at Jubilee Junction Convenience.
The minister of Service Nova Scotia, Mark Furey, announcing a new service for convenience store businesses at Jubilee Junction Convenience.   Aya Al-Hakim

The province announced today the launch of its second bundle of online services, created specifically for the convenience store sector.

The Convenience Store Bundle will make it easier and faster for business people to pay for licences and permits and access government information, similar to the Restaurant and Accommodation Bundle.

“In many areas of government our platforms are dated and in need of change,” said Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey. “We recognize that the average Nova Scotian who wants to access government services has to be able to do it online.”

The Atlantic Convenience Stores Association worked on the project with the province for two years.

“There is a lot of red tape when it comes to certain regulations or licences. So it is great that our retailers can now go to one place and get things done,” said Mike Hammoud, president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association.

Hammoud said that one of the major problems faced by retailers is that their permits expire because they don’t have the time to fill them out. But with the new online service this would be reduced.

“Convenience store owners traditionally work from 16 to 20 hours a day,” he added.

The announcement took place at Jubilee Junction Convenience, where Mike Habib is the owner.

“Time is always the problem and it is the essence of this work,” said Habib.

“Having one spot to pay for what is due when it comes to our food or tobacco permits is important,” he added. “With this system, you’ll certainly know that you’ll be doing it on time.”

The software allows business operators “to create a customized list of tasks for their specific needs, such as reserving a business name, applying for permits and exploring funding opportunities,” according to a news release.

“Our goal is to see this expand, so that the federal, municipal and provincial levels work together to put everything under one category. So we see this portal as a start,” said Hammoud. “There will be no more money spent on paperwork down the road.”

Habib is hopeful that there will be more features added in the future.

“It would get things done better if we can have things pop up online saying what’s due for renewal as that will make it way easier for us,” he said.