EDMOND — 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.”