The incentives are designed to boost business growth.
The incentives are designed to boost business growth.

Discounts designed to boost local business

A range of incentives have been introduced to encourage business growth in Coffs Harbour.

Council voted to support the discounts outlined in the new Business Incentive Policy.

The policy provides a range of options to help offset developer charges and contributions related to the costs of building new premises or expanding or refurbishing an existing building.

"It's great to be able to provide tangible incentives which, as they're taken up, will encourage business growth across our local government area," deputy mayor, Councillor Tegan Swan said.

"This is an important council focus - doing what we can to help create new jobs and a more vibrant and diverse local economy. We're essentially putting our money where our mouth is.

"It is the goal of all our strategies - economic development, tourism, events and planning - but we're now helping with the up-front development costs that anyone planning on starting or expanding a new business has to factor into their budget. Coupled with our awesome lifestyle, this gives Coffs Harbour an incredible advantage in attracting new business and encouraging economic growth."

The incentives include:

* An Employment Generating incentive: if the proposed business development will create jobs across the local government area (LGA), it may be entitled to a 40% discount off the Development Application (DA) fee for business premise development.

* Eligible Business enterprise: a DA related to the establishment or development of a small business in a rented premise may attract a fee discount depending on size of the development. For example, converting an existing retail space to office space, or vice versa. This incentive can be used cumulatively with the Employment Generating incentive.

* Developer Charges Incentive: provides an opportunity to reduce upfront establishment costs, such as developer charges for sewer and water, for all commercial and industrial development where there is to be a change of use. For example, a clothing retail space being converted into a dry-cleaning business which will have a higher water usage.

* Enhanced Deferred Payments Incentives: someone developing new or existing premises can defer the payment of the required developer contributions to help reduce the initial costs of establishing or growing the business.