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Clear Lake council approves three applications for downtown retail business incentive program

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council this week approved three more applications for the city’s new Downtown Retail Business Incubator Incentive Program.

Mayor Nelson Crabb says the program was established in April to assist business start-ups in the downtown area with rent subsidies.  “This is just to kind of help businesses to get started. It surely looks good when you have every store front full downtown, and behind those windows, you have a successful retail business, and that’s what this is all about.”

Crabb says the downtown area is a key to Clear Lake’s economic success.  “If you go back to 2006 and 2007 when that downtown area had empty store after empty store, it really was hurting business wise, and as a result when you have that, you don’t have very many people coming to town. You don’t have others come in. The more you get there, the more that are successful there, the better your business district shall be, and the overall economic wellness of your community.”

The three new businesses — White Barn Picket Fence, Nash & Ivy, and Charlie’s Soda Fountain — join two others that were recently approved for the program, which provides a rent subsidy for an 18-month period.

Months one through six would be a 50% rent subsidy not to exceed $830; months seven through 12 would be a 33% subsidy not to exceed $560 a month; and then for months 13 through 18 it would be a 17% subsidy not to exceed $275 a month. Another incentive would be a forgivable grant for business façade and signage improvements on a 50-50 basis not to exceed $2500.

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