A new grant-based incentive scheme has been launched by Donegal County Council.
The Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme aims to regenerate and revitalise town and village centres by increasing the number of businesses trading in towns and villages and reduce the number of vacant commercial premises in towns and villages throughout Donegal.
The scheme is designed to encourage new businesses to locate in commercial properties in town and village centres. The scheme should be of interest to entrepreneurs, landlords, property owners, and anyone considering setting up in business.
Grants are available, subject to certain conditions, to new businesses that set up in commercial properties that have been vacant for over two years. The grant is designed to offset the Commercial Rates liability for new businesses in their first three years of trading; with a 75% reduction in Year 1, 50% reduction in Year 2, and 25% reduction in Year 3.
It is hoped that the scheme will improve the commercial and retail mix in town centres and will benefit existing businesses by increasing footfall. The scheme is targeted at businesses such as shops/retail units, offices, crèches and childcare facilities, health/medical clinics, and businesses operating in the wellbeing and personal care areas.
Cathaoirleach of the council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan, welcomed the initiative as a further stimulus to economic growth in the county.
“The council is very aware of the challenges facing businesses in towns and villages in Donegal. The purpose of the Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme is to incentivise businesses and property owners to bring vacant properties back into productive use, through a grant to offset Commercial Rates.
"By encouraging the occupation of vacant premises, the scheme will also support town and village regeneration and lead to improved street scapes and increased footfall for existing businesses,” said Cllr Crossan.
The council's chief executive, Seamus Neely, also welcomed the new scheme.
“I am pleased that this scheme can provide financial assistance to make it more attractive for new businesses to consider setting up in premises which have been vacant for at least two years.
"The Commercial Rates Incentive Scheme complements other regeneration and business support initiatives offered by the council as part of its ongoing work in these areas, including Local Enterprise Office services, Town and Village Renewal, tourism promotion and development, and major economic and social infrastructure projects.”
For advice on setting up in business in Donegal, contact your Local Enterprise Office on (074) 9160735 or log on to www.localenterprise.ie/donegal
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