Bonita Council approves business incentive program

Daily News staff

Bonita Springs City Council members unanimously approved Wednesday an incentive program to attract new, small businesses to the community.

Among 11 proposed business incentives that would complement what county government offers and would make the city more attractive to new businesses, Bonita Springs would offer up to $1,500 cash to anyone who provides a substantial lead to the city that results in a new business with at least five jobs within the first year. Previously, the incentive was to be limited to commercial Realtors only, according to Arleen Hunter, Bonita Springs' director of development services.

Other incentives include the redevelopment and beautification of downtown, including a facade improvement matching grant in which the city would finance 80 percent of the project with a match of 20 percent by the owner, not to exceed $10,000. The program would require the owner to comply with an architectural and color scheme established for downtown, according to a draft report.

The city has $100,000 in the budget for economic development; about $75,000 of that could be available for incentives.

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