The Business In Transition Program is a new reinvestment program launched by Parker city officials in July of 2012. The program is meant to help fill vacant commercial spaces around town while helping small businesses expand into the community.
The Business in Transition program helps small businesses get out of their home offices or small spaces and gets them into retail spaces that they may not normally be able to afford. The program offers 75% of rent paid in the first year, 50% in the second year and 25% in the third year. In the first year, this amount is equal of up to $3,000.
Small businesses have been jumping at the opportunity as well. In the first year the total $300,000 in funding has already been spoken for. The $300,000 budget has not been spent just yet, but has been spoken for by the many approved businesses so far.
Right now the average assistance per business is $35,000 over the course of three years. There are some limitations and the city is planning on meeting to discuss the current regulations and see what can be done to improve the program.
The first set of businesses to take advantage of the program were mainly home based businesses that now have store fronts. Of the businesses that already had commercial space, they expanded from a collective space of 2,200 square feet to more than 8,000 square feet. Commercial vacancies have also improved in the city from 23.9% to 4.5% in the last year.
Not everyone is exactly a fan of the program though. Many residents are saying that the program unfairly benefits these businesses owners as well as commercial property owners in the city. One resident also said that if a business cannot afford it’s own space, it is not a sustainable business.