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Aug 05

Adding More Tools to Our Toolbox

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM by Murray McGee

Adding More Tools to Our Toolbox

Just like a carpenter or a mechanic, adding specialty tools to your toolbox enables you to become more efficient, work on more projects and it allows you to address the complex needs of your customers. The same applies to adding more economic development tools or programs that can assist us in our efforts to help local businesses grow and to attract new businesses to our community.

Recently the Chanute Regional Development Authority hosted a presentation on business incentives and programs. With the assistance of staff from the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Small Business Development Center information was presented on many programs that are available to new and existing businesses.

CRDA also recently developed a proposal to manage the City’s Business Incubator. As part of the proposal, CRDA will be responsible for assisting start-up businesses to gain access to the facility, develop a business plan and learn how to market and expand their business. In addition, they will be able to access resources from the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Small Business Development Center and many other organizations.

The program is designed to assist the business in starting with few expenses and utility costs. Over time those expenses are added to the businesses budget on a graduating scale as the business develops and grows. This is all part of the “Incubation” process. The maximum time a business can remain in the incubator will be 3 years. By this time, the business should be ready to leave the nest and grow and thrive on its own with the knowledge and experience they have gained while in the incubator.

We are currently working with a local individual who is interested in utilizing the incubator. What started out as a hobby is quickly becoming a business the incubator would provide the space and programming necessary to grow and thrive.

CRDA has also been working with the City of Chanute, Neosho County and USD 413 to develop a Neighborhood Revitalization Program which will create an incentive for both residential and commercial building improvements and new construction. The NRP provides a tax “rebate” on the improvements or new construction. The rebate would begin at 90% on the improvements that increase the appraised value of a property by at least $7,500. The amount of the rebate would gradually decrease over a 10 year period adding more and more to the public tax base.

Currently the program is being utilized in 73 out of the 105 counties in Kansas and several more counties and cities are expected to adopt NRP programs this year. There are still several steps to be completed before the program can be implemented but we are close. Already several residential and commercial property owners have inquired about the program. Four businesses are waiting for the program to be finalized as they prepare for construction of new buildings in Chanute. One of those is a company with offices in Wichita and Texas. They have specifically stated they look for communities that have the Neighborhood Revitalization Program or something similar in place before they consider a building project. Like other businesses, they are looking for communities that have specialized tools in their toolbox to assist the business in holding down their costs in getting started in a new community or even taking steps to expand in a community where they already have a presence. These tools provide an incentive and encouragement to help businesses in making tough investment and economic development decisions.

Chanute Regional Development is also working on an event coming up next month to provide an opportunity to introduce several new businesses and projects to the community. It will also be a time to look at the businesses that currently exist in the community and discuss the growth and development that is occurring today and is planned for the future. We will announce more details on this event very soon.

If you are interested in any of these programs, please contact the CRDA office at (620) 431-5222.