Town of Summerville considering incentives to spur growth

VIDEO: Town of Summerville considering incentives to spur growth

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Summerville wants businesses to invest in the town by revitalizing particular areas.

To attract developers and new projects, the town is considering offering an economic development incentive program to spur growth.

The Town's Comprehensive and Vision plans have identified five incentive areas, but people who would like to develop in other areas can still apply for the economic development incentives.

Those areas include Oakbrook, North Main, Brownsvile, Downtown and Sheep Island.

The Economic Development Coordinator for the town, Michael Lisle, says the town is taking steps to help ensure this is economic develop in all areas of town.

Through the economic development incentive program the town hopes to increase commercial activity.

Town leaders say benefits would include increased property values and tourist activity that would create more money for the town.

At this time, the town says projects must have a minimum investment of $500,000 to become eligible for incentives.

“We know that these will be significant projects. We require that they fall into certain types of business activity,” Lisle said. “We’re looking at things such as corporate or regional headquarters, research and development facilities, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism related businesses. These are thing that are important for the future of Summerville to improve our quality of life, to ensure that our residents have access to high skill, high wage jobs that are going to be the future or the town.”

The incentives to developers could include full or partial refunds of impact, permit, business license tax fees and more.

The town says no incentive will be provided up front, reimbursements are based on performance.

When people apply, town council will be in charge of approving if a businesses can be a part of the program.

“It’s another tool in the toolbox. It’s an opportunity for us to put out the welcome mat and say we’re open for business,” Lisle said.

Town officials say council is expected to discuss this incentive program at the council meeting on Thursday evening.

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