Debate about the effectiveness of a Kyle tax rebate incentive program is pushing city officials to give it a marketing make-over.
Plans to make over the First Year on Us (FYOU) program was discussed at the June 4 Kyle City Council meeting. City leaders discussed the project after the city’s first participants in the three-year-old program, who all applied in 2019, received tax rebates for meeting criteria for funding.
However, Kyle City Council members voiced concern about the program and whether it is really attracting outside-of-Kyle entrepreneurs.
Council member Daphne Tenorio had previously sought to expand the view of the program to allow in-Kyle business owners who have already completed construction to apply.
The program limits applicants to those who have yet to begin construction on projects in the city.
“We don’t have any incentives for small businesses in Kyle aside from this one,” Tenorio said during a previous meeting.
The council decided to research options for expanding the pool of applicants, but brought back the item June 4 with a desire to expand marketing efforts instead.
Diana Torres, Kyle Director of Economic Development, was tasked with developing a marketing plan to draw more attention to the program, and eventually draw more small businesses to Kyle.
“They must apply before the work is started,” Torres said. “The purpose of the program is to encourage new commercial construction. It is to increase the property tax base.”
The plan is currently just a preliminary approach to satisfy marketing needs for this year and it includes adding materials to a brochure and updating the city’s website.
“We would do a digital campaign that would run through the city and the economic development department,” Torres said. “And we would do a video.”
The marketing will be seen mainly on Kyle’s social media pages and website. The overall goal is to attract businesses that are currently outside of Kyle. The city hopes business owners, realtors and contractors will come to know of the incentive and spread the word.
“I’m personally very happy to see this taken to the next level,” said Mayor Travis Mitchell. “It was beneficial to the applicants that did come this year. This shows we are very serious about attracting small business.”
For some council members, the plan has not answered their questions about what Kyle can do for small businesses currently built in Kyle.