EDITORIAL: Incentives should benefit both new and existing job creatorsWhen a community thinks about economic development, often a lot of attention is paid to trying to attract new businesses to town.
When a community thinks about economic development, often a lot of attention is paid to trying to attract new businesses to town.
But economic development can be achieved, too, by existing businesses in town expanding and adding jobs. In fact, in most cases, that’s where most new jobs come from. Small businesses on a growth trend can have a huge impact on a local economy.
That’s why the New Richmond City Council’s current discussion about financial incentives to businesses is so important.
Everyone seems to agree that attracting a potential employer to town would be a great thing. Creating jobs from new entities is a coup for any community. That’s why incentive packages, and tax increment financing efforts, are put together and presented to businesses that are shopping for a new home or their first home.
But often the same type of effort isn’t applied to projects that involve businesses that are already located here. It almost seems like we take their success and growth for granted.
New Richmond has done much to encourage expansion and renovation projects in town the past couple years. Not a lot of projects have resulted from those efforts, but at least the community has been trying hard.
But could the city do more to spur some activity? Already impact fees and sewer access charges are waived for projects that begin over the next year or so. Should the city look at other incentives to help businesses expand or improve?
Whether they do or they don’t, the council should be commended for considering their options. It wouldn’t be the worst idea if the community were to develop a policy that would encourage existing businesses to expand or improve their facilities.
By encouraging new projects, the city gains a higher tax base and possibly some additional jobs. At the very least, an expansion or renovation effort would likely mean the local business will stay put and continue to contribute to the local economy in many ways. That alone is reason to reach out and work with them.