Lots of small towns struggle with retail, both retaining existing stores and encouraging new stores to open.
In Elk City, Oklahoma, the municipal government actively encourages retail experiments by rebating some sales tax to new retail businesses.
Economic Development Director Jim Mason told me about it at a regional meeting, and I thought it was smart enough to pass along to you.
New retail businesses get a rebate of part of the municipal sales tax they collect and submit. Wisely, the incentive steps down gradually. The rebate is 50% the first year, 40% the second year, and 30% the third year.
It’s a win-win. The new business gets some revenue back, and the city gets more sales tax because of the new business.
Think that’s unfair to existing businesses? They can get in on it with a qualifying expansion of their business, Mason told me.
Read more about Elk City’s efforts to diversify and avoid depending on a single industry, lessons any community could copy.
- Boost your maker economy with a “Made in” day - September 17, 2021
- How a ghost town made something from nothing with a folk festival - September 3, 2021
- Rural business idea: sell foraged fruits and more - August 3, 2021
- Best practices for rural housing - July 19, 2021
- How to be more open to new ideas #IdeaFriendly - July 3, 2021
- Market your small town as a movie filming location, attract movie and game fan tourists - June 28, 2021
- Survey of Rural Challenges 2021 results, analysis of themes from 2015 through today - June 7, 2021
- What makes a small town a micropolitan or nanopolitan? - May 22, 2021
- Improving Rural Housing: turning blighted dilapidated houses into new homes - May 7, 2021
- Are marijuana shops good or bad for small towns? - April 22, 2021