LOUISVILLE — Since 2007, when Louisville implemented its business assistance program, only businesses moving to or expanding within the city have been eligible for its tax and fee incentives. City officials Tuesday night approved an amendment to the program to allow businesses that are moving from one location to another — but not necessarily growing — to take advantage of its perks.
“Anything we can do to help keep businesses in our community is really critical,” said Eric Lund, the new executive director of Louisville’s Chamber of Commerce.
Changes to the program came about as a result of a local company being forced out of its building at the end of a lease, Louisville planning director Robert Zuccaro said. When company leaders sought assistance through Louisville’s BAP to help offset some of the cost of setting up shop elsewhere, the limitations of the program were revealed.
It’s not just a lease expiration that could force a company to relocate but not expand, he said, citing fires, floods and mold as examples of situations that could cause existing businesses to seek assistance from the city.
“They may be looking in our town or surrounding towns to continue their business,” Zucarro said, and Louisville officials would prefer if contributors to the city’s tax base stay put.
Louisville Mayor Dennis Maloney noted that “attracting new businesses is a lot more expensive than retaining existing ones.”