Thursday , 24 June 2021

Cold Lake extending business incentive program

The City of Cold Lake say they will be extending the Business Retention and Attraction Incentive Program (BRAIP) for another year.

“We have been receiving a few applications for the program, and decided we wanted to see this continue to help revitalize the downtown area and other commercial businesses,” said Mayor Craig Copeland in a press release Tuesday.

“Council originally passed this policy to support our business community, and we want to make sure that owners who can take advantage of this are aware of what is available.”

The policy was developed in 2010, and since then, council and the Economic Development Advisory Committee has pushed to ensure businesses are reminded of the BRAIP policy.

It was originally set to last for two years, but council has opted to continue extending it, as businesses continue to make use of it.

The program grants rebates based on commercial property taxes. In the case of new commercial construction, the rebate is paid out over three years and is equal to one year’s worth of the increase in municipal property taxes resulting from the construction.

The program also includes projects that are primarily cosmetic in nature, as they would not necessarily result in an increase in assessment and municipal taxes paid. Such projects are eligible to receive a one-time grant equal to 10 per cent of the municipal property taxes levied in the year the project is completed.

“The level of renovations that have been coming through is outstanding,” said Copeland. “When a business owner renovates their property, it’s an investment in our community – it helps to make Cold Lake an attractive community, and we’re happy to provide help through this program.”

With the expanded deadline, business owners now have until December 31, 2019 to apply for the BRAIP.

City staff make business owners and commercial property owners aware of the BRAIP when building and development permits are applied for.

While many construction and renovation projects require permits, some purely cosmetic renovations do not. If a business has any questions about the policy, they are encouraged to contact the Planning and Development Department at City Hall.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.