Editor’s Note: The News Journal is presenting daily stories on local entities that play vital roles in economic development during National Economic Development Week (May 6-11). Today’s story is from the City of Wilmington.
Among the many hats a city wears, economic development is one of the most critical. In 2018, the City of Wilmington moved forward on many economic development fronts to grow local business.
Two downtown businesses were awarded $100,000 in low interest loans for renovation and expansion. The favorable 1% annual interest rate for a 10-year loan granted to these ventures will prove essential as they gain profitability in the local business community.
Utilizing the recently created City Revitalization Grant fund (commonly known as the Bed Tax Fund), over $125,000 was awarded in grant money to local not-for-profit organizations. Groups benefiting from the fund’s allocations are Main Street Wilmington, Wilmington Parks and Recreation, and The Nowhere Else Festival.
A wide variety of initiatives were funded in 2018, from the Castle Park II project to downtown historic walking tour markers. The enhancements to local tourism and quality of life are all drivers in making Wilmington a better place to live and do business.
Features that are not readily visible but just as important to economic development, are infrastructure improvements. These types of groundwork improvements are critical to keep the city functioning, keep residents safe, and preserve property values.
Examples of recent infrastructure enhancements are sidewalk replacement, road paving, and the upcoming Nelson Road culvert project. The city continues to expand and maintain infrastructure for water and waste water capacity as Master Plans are updated, providing long term strategy for present and future needs.
Tax incentives are now in place for the Rombach Avenue area, promoting pedestrian safety features and infrastructure improvements focused on the enhancement of new business development.
In addition, the city committed $60,000 to the Clinton County Port Authority as part of its economic development partnership, which will include the addition of a director position as part of the overall economic development program for the county.