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Roswell Moves Forward with Offering Economic Incentives for Businesses

Businesses interested in moving to Roswell will now have a few extra reasons to do so.

In addition to the , Roswell City Council has now approved moving forward with its own economic development incentive policy, as well.

Director of Community Development Alice Wakefield told council that staff and the Roswell Business Alliance (RBA) are consistently asked "What is the city going to offer," when new businesses are deciding upon a location with the most possible incentives. Prior to the new policy, the city officially had none of its own.

Under the new policy, a business would have to be eligible for the incentives through achievment of the Strategic Economic Develoment Plan and the city's 2030 Comprehensive Plan, the creation of 50 or more new full-time jobs or a capital investment of $15 million or more.

Incentives could include:

  • a waiver or reduction of permit fees;
  • a waiver of impact fees;
  • a waiver of business registration fees;
  • expedited permitting process - which gather different city departments to review the incoming business at once, instead of each department taking their successive turn.

"This wouldn’t be an automatic,” Wakefield assured council.

A city committee would do an analysis of each business requesting an incentive before presenting their recommendation to the council, who would then decide whether to give a business all or part of the city's listed incentives.

"This would be on a case by case basis,” said Wakefield.

One piece of how the committee will view their incentive recommendations will be based upon what kind of revenue impact a business will have in Roswell, said City Administrator Kay Love.

Mayor Jere Wood asked staff to look into creating a set of criteria or scale that would make the incentives more predictable for businesses to have an idea of what they might get from the city if they moved here or expanded, which would also increase the RBA's ability to pitch them.

Thomas Wayne Shelton September 14, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Seems a little ridiculous to me that you need to spend 15 million or hire 50 employees to get any attention from the city. Look at all the small businesses struggling to get opened and serve the community and help them out. The heartbeat of this economy is small companies serving local communities. Not large business that we need to provide "incentives" to move here. If we had real leadership on the council, they would focus their attention accordingly.
janet h russell September 14, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I agree Thomas. I heard about this idea yesterday and I immediately thought " if they have 15 million dollars , then they can afford to pay the fees, licensing etc." It is the small to middle size business that make a community stronger from within and in need of incentives. I am not sure who comes up with these ideas but the City of Roswell seems lost in the development desert with no oasis in sight. We have the Roswell Business Alliance which they funded with 1/2 million dollars and no oversight, the Downtown Development Authority, the Community Development Office, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Transportation Dept and of course City Council. They hire countless consulting firms who are tripping over each other in City Hall and nothing gets done. But money is spent over and over with the only result being nothing, I think that is the definition of insanity" doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results". Help! The inmates are running the asylum.

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