EDITORIAL: Help for Downtown

CHICKASAW_Journal_BANNERPeople open a business in downtown Houston for one reason – to make money.

And anyone who is looking to open a new business or renovate an existing building in Downtown Houston needs to take advantage of two programs currently being offered by the state and federal government.

The first is the offering of state and federal tax credits for anyone renovating a building listed on the National Historic Register.

The second is a waiver of natural gas utility deposits and first years fees to a new business opening anywhere in Chickasaw County.

Anyone seeking to open a new business in Houston is urged to contact City Hall at 456-2328 about the National Historic Register tax credit. Anyone in Chickasaw County looking to open a new business is urged to contact Public Service Commissioner Brandon Pressley at northern.district@psc.state.ms.us or by calling his office at 1-800-356-6428.

Will either of these programs produce a wave of development? Probably not, but they might help someone thinking about starting a business take the jump.

The role of government is to promote economic development and commerce. We think both these programs are a good example of how government can help do that.

Did we also point out that homeowners on the National Historic Register are also eligible for help putting on a new roof, painting their home or restoring it to its former glory. More than 70 properties have been identified as falling in the area included on the National Register.

And we are talking about up to 25 percent in state and federal tax credits on approve improvements.

And the waiver of a $1,000 utility deposit for a commercial development is a savings in real start-up money.

Yes, there is government paperwork and certain requirements. The rest of us would expect no less when you are spending our tax dollars.

There are more buildings than we care to mention that need renovating or repairing in Downtown Houston. There is always a need for new a business in Chickasaw County.

Sadly neither the renovation nor the new business will happen if property owners and prospective new businesses decide to do nothing.

Sometimes it only takes a spark to get a fire going.

We hope these two programs can fuel the flames of economic development in some cold corner of our community.


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