May 24, 2022

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City launching business development, expansion grant program

City councillors hope a new business retention and development initiative will help boost investment in the municipality.

Mayor Jackie Clayton says the New Business Development Grant includes a trio of incentives and two grants which help support investment in not only industrial, but commercial, and residential areas throughout the city.

“This is of significant size, it’s not a facade improvement, it’s not a small scale development, it’s a significant size of developments in our region that it would support,” she says.

The New Business Development Grant will offer up new businesses with a construction value of over $25 million decade-long sliding rebates on their property taxes. The first year of the plan will provide a 100 per cent rebate, before dropping 10 per cent per year over the remaining nine years.

Similarly, The Business Retention and Expansion for existing businesses with a minimum of $1 million in value will receive a tax rebate spread over four years. The Business Revitalization Grant will allow a 50 per cent matching grant to a maximum of $25,000 for demolition or property improvements. There are also rebates focused on municipal fees and residential infill properties.

Clayton says the crux of the grant system is that it will cost very little to taxpayers, as it is primarily self-funded through the rebate program itself.

“We truly believe in the partnership approach when it comes to economic development… if we can incentivize without having a cost impact [on] our taxpayers, that’s a win-win for everybody,” she says.

“If we can see these large developments in industrial or commercial spaces come to our city, it’s a great opportunity.”

The application process for businesses and residents will be open sometime this summer, on a date to be determined.