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Edmond officials want to draw businesses to city

City council members hope that by offering businesses incentives they will make Edmond more competitive. The incentives were discussed this week at a workshop with Edmond Economic Development Authority.
by Diana Baldwin Published: February 29, 2012

— City council members are looking at incentives to show businesses that Edmond is the place to open up shop.

During a Monday workshop with the Edmond Economic Development Authority, council members said they want to be competitive with other cities in the metro area that are working to entice businesses.

“The message is we are more serious about economic development,” City Manager Larry Stevens said.

“We want them to know we are open for business and we are interested in them looking at what we have,” Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell said.

The need to be competitive became evident when Edmond's sales tax collections dropped from a comfortable level of 10 to 11 percent growth to 4.5 percent growth so far this fiscal year. Sales tax money is the city's main source of income.

Incentives could be retail sales tax rebates, infrastructure improvements, fee waivers, matching grants for facades, noncash incentives and public improvement districts.

Janet Yowell, economic authority executive director, gave council members guidelines and criteria that would help create ways to help businesses.

“This will keep Edmond competitive,” Yowell said. “The Edmond Economic Development Authority seeks to create an environment where new or existing companies can thrive and to create a more diversified tax base.”

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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