After no interest was generated in the inaugural year of Kyle’s First Year on Us (FYOU) plan, a trio of new businesses want to take advantage of the city’s tax rebate program.
FYOU offers rebates on businesses’ first year ad valorem taxes – up to $10,000 – to encourage development and construction of businesses both small and large. Three applicants applied for rebates this year and were unanimously approved by the council.
“This program came from a strong desire to treat our small business community more equitably,” said Mayor Travis Mitchell. “We, as a city, are constantly trying to lure major commercial businesses to come… we roll out the red carpet for those folks … that said, the small business community has an equal impact.”
For the first time, three applicants applied citing their interest in Kyle for application to the incentive program. City leaders hope to see more small businesses take interest in the program in the future.
“We got better at marketing the program,” Mitchell said. “We’ve been trying to gain interest because we believe it will level the playing field for small businesses.”
Brad Hullum, owner of Hullum Properties, received a $10,000 incentive, while Heather Bunting received a $5,000 incentive. Craig Barron, owner of Shaggy Dog, received a $5,000 incentive.
Hullum Properties currently owns GTL Electric Solutions in San Marcos and Joe Brown Construction LLC in Buda. Hullum Properties is building its third location, Logic Mechanical, and is hiring 13 to 15 local staff members.
“We give back as much as possible and definitely want to invest in the future of this community,” said Hullum, who intends to build in the 300 block of Ayers Rd, and hopes to open by the end of the year.
Bunting is a veterinarian of 10 years who plans to own her own practice in Kyle and work with local high school students in vet tech programs. Bunting plans to open her practice this summer.
Barron, who opened the first Shaggy Dog location along FM 967 in 2017, aims to open a second location in Kyle. Barron’s flagship store has been open a year and a half, while Barron has been a local resident for two years.
“I moved here from Austin with some reservation… but I love this area and the idea just came to me (to start a business) and the reception has been great,” said Barron.
Barron said he began his first store by hiring three seniors from Hays High and plans to do the same when he opens his new Kyle location.