All four Waterloo Mayoral candidates agree: there's too much red tape at city hall when it comes to local businesses. ‚Äč

The issue was one of the major topics of discussion at the Manulife Financial Sportsplex last night. 

Candidate Rami Said says the barriers to starting a business in Waterloo are much bigger than in Kitchener. 

"In Waterloo, not only do you have to go to the office there, you can't do it online. You have to get the form filled out, then you have to make sure health and safety signs off on it, then you have to have proof of insurance for $2 million dollars, plus any other information that they may ask for," said Said.

"Then they're going to send you to multiple different departments because it's not clustered together. So when I went there they sent me to another building, which sent me back to the first office, which sent me to the second floor, then sent me back there. By the end of it, nothing was accomplished."

Said owns small businesses in Kitchener and Waterloo, and says that in Kitchener, with a credit card and an internet connection, he can get a business license in 10 minutes. 

Candidate Erika Traub says she believes there's a reason city hall is so bureaucratic . 

"I think it's being too cautious. We're too cautious. We're too paranoid. We're too afraid to offend somebody. We're too afraid to put up a poster. We're too afraid to let somebody's property get used in a certain way."