A jobs program unveiled by New Castle County Executive Paul Clark includes a special focus on areas with high unemployment and low income.
Clark’s six-point proposal also would offer a partial tax exemption from property taxes for businesses investing at least $50,000 in new commercial or manufacturing facilities.
“Too many of our residents are out of work, and we cannot stand by and wait for the economy to turnaround,” Clark said. “We can’t guarantee a bumper crop of jobs, but we can help to create the environment in which jobs can grow.”
Qualifying businesses would be eligible for a three-year exemption from the New Castle County portion of the property tax, starting July 1st, 2012.
The plan includes developing an economic development strategy to attract businesses and jobs to such areas as the Route 9 and Route 13 corridors south of Wilmington. Clark said the county would also look to promote growth and job opportunities around the Port of Wilmington and New Castle Airport, and to work through Main Street Programs to expand tourism and opportunities for small business growth and investment in historic areas.
Other components of the program titled “Sowing Seeds, Growing Jobs” include promoting the purchase of local goods and services, streamlining the county development review process, designating a small business advocate, and making additional investments into county libraries, parks and sewer systems to promote further job growth.
“This legislation sends the message that New Castle County is here to do its part to help new and existing businesses thrive and keep our residents working,” Councilman George Smiley added. Smiley is co-sponsor of the legislation along with Council member John Cartier.
According to county figures, retail market vacancies are at a 20-year high of 11-percent, and the office vacancy rate is over 21-percent.