Companies considering a move to Sussex could earn $5,000 grants from the Community Development Authority, under a program being formed by the CDA.
The Village Board gave the CDA permission to shape the plan, which could return to the full board for approval in January. Officials hope the grants can help attract more businesses and reduce vacant buildings in the area; one organization is already in line.
Color Ink, Inc., a print manufacturer in Waukesha, would be the first business to receive the grant once it completes the necessary steps to legally relocate to a vacant building in Sussex on Highway 164.
The funds for the new grant will not be paid for with tax dollars, but rather money saved from returns the CDA has incurred from past investments. According to the village, $5,000 would be the standard amount given to a business.
Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said the CDA would lend a helpful hand for community and business development.
“The intent of the grant is to jump start development with nominal dollar amounts,” Smith said. “And to reoccupy vacant buildings in the community.”
Smith said he has not seen a startling number of vacant buildings in the village, but said he has witnessed more vacant buildings in the past five years.
CDA Chairperson and Village Board Trustee Pat Tetzlaff said, “There are times when a business just needs a little boost and help.”
The grant would help businesses cover the costs of relocating, such as legal fees and taxes.
“What the program really is designed to do is to help eliminate hurdles that come up that might hinder the reuse of existing buildings,” Smith said.
Officials said the grant program might not be a permanent fix, but is a logical plan for this point in time.
“We are just starting to paint this canvas,” Tetzlaff said.