St. Michael City Council and EDA Discuss Business Rent Reimbursement

The St. Michael City Council and EDA are continuing a conversation about offering business rent reimbursement to new business owners in St. Michael.

Members of St. Michael EDA recently approved a proposal 5-0 to offer business rent reimbursement to new business owners in St. Michael.

The program would offer 50% rent reimbursement, up to $500, for a period of six months. The program would be on an application basis that would be approved by Community Development Director Marc Weigle. The money would be available for up to five businesses that are starting up in a commercial area.

The St. Michael City Council discussed the idea further at the September 25 meeting and have plans in place to further discuss at tonight's workshop.

"Some cities require businesses to be in business a year first before reimbursement," Weigle explained.

"But those first months are sometimes the hardest," Nadine Schoen said.

Kevin Kasel, who was attending the meeting via Skype had concerns. "Are we subsidizing a new business at the expense of an existing business?" he asked citing concerns about competitors of current local businesses.

The council decided that they would further discuss the program at their next workshop which is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. The City Council meeting will be immediately following the workshop at 7 p.m.


Al Anderson October 09, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I'm as pro-business as it gets -- but government needs to stay completely away from doing this sort of stuff. Government should not be in the business of any business - and certainly not picking "winners" and "losers". This sort of subsidy is a slap in the face of every existing business. If businesses are going to judge whether their business is viable based on $500 per month taxpayer subsidies, I question whether those businesses are viable at all.
Happy in St. Michael October 10, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Ditto to what Bex and Al said. The city should be wooing businesses through promotion of everything St. Michael has to offer, not by giving taxpayer funds to subsidize their rent. Please stop breeding entitlement! Aren't you trying to raise our taxes 2.99%? If you have $3000+ each month to give businesses that may not stay longer than 6 months, you don't need to raise taxes. Please be smart.
Al Anderson October 10, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I have heard that this subsidy concept was nixed at the 6pm working session last night. I give credit to the council members who have the backbone to say "no" when stuff like this comes up.
JoJo October 10, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I agree with these comments as well. You could give everyone a break by lowering taxes, not picking and choosing winners of the gov't lottery. One man should not be given this power, either. Hope what Al says is true!
JoJo October 10, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I'd sure like to know who came up with this idea, anyway.


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