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Applications being accepted for Small Business and Property Incentive Package

Applications are still being accepted for the Main Street Middlesboro and city of Middlesboro Small Business and Property Incentive Package.

The resolution was brought before Middlesboro City Council in August that adopts incentives to attract small businesses to downtown Middlesboro.

Councilwoman Judy Grandey presented the resolution saying there is a need for property owners to clean and renovate properties across the downtown Middlesboro area.

Some of those incentives that are being offered in the package are low interest rates with local banks, a tax moratorium on the reassessment of property values, construction dumpsters that will be provided by Waste Connections and then hauled at no expense for the businesses that are being rehabilitated.

“One of the things I like about this is let’s say that you have a building that’s maybe $50,000 and you go through this process,” Mayor Rick Nelson explained. “The city of Middlesboro would freeze that property assessment for five years. We would freeze it at $50,000, and if you put $2 million into it the taxes would not go up. It would stay at $50,000.”

According to Nelson, Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock has agreed on the fiscal court side that they would do the same thing they did with Pineville.

“Of course, our tax rate is a little bit lower, but you would save a lot of money, but that’s just incentive to fix your building up,” Nelson said. “I think Pineville has had three or four buildings that have taken advantage of that.”

There will also be marketing opportunities and a grant writer will also be available on site at no charge to the applicant. Main Street Middlesboro will advertise your business on their Facebook page.

There will be three free classes on website design, target marketing and social media. Main Street Middlesboro, in conjunction with the Middlesboro Historical Commission and the Kentucky Heritage Council, will provide individual business or property owners with design assistance including: paint colors, signs, exterior changes, windows, awnings and other assistance on improvements to Main Street approved projects.

There will be a business plan development through the Small Business Development Center with a grant writer on site to assist and write development grants at no charge to the applicant. There would also be a ribbon cutting ceremony by Bell County Chamber of Commerce with a business profiling in the Bell County Tourism Travel Guide.

According to the council, the incentive package is only being offered to the downtown district, but they are discussing opening it up outside of the downtown district.

To find out more about the package incentive, you can contact Main Street Middlesboro Director Emily Ayers by email at downtownmiddlesboro@gmail.com.