Business Incentive Plan Approved for Council Consideration

In a special meeting today, the Menifee City Council approved to include on its next agenda a new incentive ordinance that aims to help attract more commercial business in the city.

The program under consideration will provide incentives to businesses to move to or expand in the city of Menifee. Details of incentives would be subject to each individual case and could include loans, funding or financial aid in projects that will benefit Menifee.

Economic Development Director Jeff Wyman (left) provided information on the incentive program and said that in order for businesses to receive any sort of incentive, they must undergo an application process and provide evidence that they will be profitable and create positive impact in the Menifee community.

Such benefits provided by new businesses would include services offered by the business, employment opportunities and an overall positive contribution to the community.

The incentive program plans to create a more business friendly atmosphere, assist in future development, provide more shopping amenities, meet community needs, improve the economy and guide future projects.

Wyman said it is estimated that Menifee residents spend an annual amount of $400 million for commercial purposes outside of Menifee city limits. With the new incentive program, Menifee officials hope to bring more commercial revenue and provide the city with much needed amenities.

Those eligible for the incentives offered would include business owners, existing businesses wishing to expand in Menifee and land owners who would be willing to use their land for commercial purposes.

Wyman and some city council members stressed the need for further development of shopping centers to accommodate new businesses. Established shopping centers such as Countryside Marketplace are already at full capacity.

To pull in possible business clients, Wyman plans on attending brokers meetings and going to International Council of Shopping Centers conferences; Wyman and other council members recently attended an ICSC conference in Las Vegas.

Some council members felt that Wyman also needed a more specific approach in attracting clients by targeting specific businesses and communicating directly with them.

"We know we need to move from a global approach to a targeted approach," said Interim City Manager Rob Johnson.

Overall, city council members were in agreement that the new incentive plan is worth taking into consideration for approval, and while the city already has the power to provide incentives, Wyman said this new policy stresses a more business friendly environment.

"It's a policy decision by the city council to focus efforts on economic development and make Menifee more business friendly," said Wyman.

City council members will consider the incentive program at the next city council meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 6.