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Incentives attract new downtown businesses

The city of Las Vegas has a number of programs that offer incentives to businesses looking to locate in one of the city’s two redevelopment areas, including:

Quick Start Program: Under this program, qualified applicants will be reimbursed up to $50,000 toward the cost of rehabilitating older structures to bring them up to current building and fire code standards. Applicants will be reimbursed for costs associated with code compliance, infrastructure challenges such as utility and structural upgrades, and review fees. Matching funds from the business are required. For every dollar the city contributes, the business must contribute $4.

Currently, a developer or tenant is responsible for covering most, if not all the costs to bring a building up to current building codes. This large expense can be an impediment to the development of existing structures in the redevelopment areas, many of which have not been improved for 10 to 40 years, and need extensive work to bring them up to code. This program attempts to address this issue by encouraging the rehabilitation of older commercial buildings through incentives, which will enhance the physical appearance of the redevelopment areas and improve the overall economic viability of the city.

The project will also create new jobs by providing additional space for new or expanding businesses.

Visual Improvement Program: Qualifying business owners can receive a rebate for the costs involved in upgrading the appearance of their establishment and bringing properties up to current building and property code standards.

The VIP provides a rebate on pre-approved exterior improvements. Matching funds from the business are required. Improvements may be made to signs, building facades, permanent landscaping, parking facilities and more.

Fast Track Program): City staff assists area business owners and operators with Las Vegas’ entitlement, permitting and licensing procedures to expedite company openings. The city has assisted hundreds of owners and developers with this service.

Tax Increment Financing: The Redevelopment Agency offers rebate incentives for high-rise residential, retail, hotel and mixed-use projects. Expenditures qualifying for rebates may include street construction, gutters, water lines, storm drainage facilities, traffic signals, paving, sidewalks, flood control improvements, utilities and other infrastructure costs.

Tax increment is defined as the increased property taxes generated due to new development on a site. The program uses tax money from the difference in the originally assessed property value and the new, enhanced property value to pay for eligible expenditures. A portion of the tax increment can be rebated annually to a property developer for qualified expenditures to a construction project that will enhance the area where the business is located.

Retail Downtown Las Vegas Program: This program assists retailers with finding locations and aids developers, commercial brokers and property owners with recruiting high-quality tenants in urban areas.

For more information, contact the Economic and Urban Development Department at 702-229-6551.

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