Edmond City Council members are searching for ways to attract more businesses to the city, and some members have suggested offering incentives to entice businesses to set up shop in their town.
During a workshop with the Edmond Economic Development Authority, members of the city council discussed how they would like to make Edmond more competitive by drawing in more businesses via incentives. The business incentives would range from retail sales tax rebates, fee waivers, and matching grants for facades to noncash incentives, infrastructure improvements, and public improvement districts. The idea was motivated by this fiscal year’s sales tax collections, which had dropped from 10 percent to 4.5 percent. City Manager Larry Stevens said that the new order would send the message that the city is serious when it comes to their economic development.
Janet Yowell, Director of the Economic Development Authority, said that the organization will find ways to create an economic environment where businesses can flourish. They will also be taking a look at creating a more diversified tax base for the businesses who apply through the incentives.
An example of how incentives will soon be implemented is with the new building on the northwest corner of Covell Road and Interstate 35 that is currently under construction. The building will be a full service hotel and conference center. The structure is going up in a good spot because city council members had already planned to rebuild part of the road, and that work will now coincide with a beautiful new conference center.