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.
- 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
- Downtown is your town’s core: How to make your case - February 22, 2021
- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020
- In an economic crisis, spend your brainpower before your dollars - November 25, 2020
- Video: How to fill empty car dealership buildings for the holidays - November 6, 2020
- How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here - October 20, 2020
- The Idea Friendly Method to surviving a business crisis - October 6, 2020