These are sad times here in the black section of Avon Park, FL.; especially in the Southside Community Redevelopment Area. Where over 80% of the businesses are close and 100% or none are fully operational. As the state of the Union may well be in a recession we here in the Southside Community are clearly experiencing a depression. Something has to be done ASAP.
I call on the City of Avon Park, the State of Florida and the United States of America, to duly recognize the hardships felt by the citizens of Avon Park and Highlands County Florida. We are a rural area and for that reason we know money has been set aside to face these difficult challenges. We see our problems and there solutions as a boiler plate to the Nation as a whole.
First we need to reopen the doors to these establishments. To do this we need a community based incentive business proposal. Such a plan will be devised by the NCNCHINC and the SBDC in a cooperative effort with the local business owners. The purpose of this plan is to determine what business each property will be used for, that will help create a strong local economy. We must come to a consensus.
We call on the County of Highlands to give each property owner a tax exemption for the year 2010. This tax credit is to be used and placed in a coffer directed towards paying the costs of utilities on the buildings. In this package we call on the Avon Park Utilities Department to provide there services free of charge to qualifying businesses for the year of 2011, at a reasonable cap. Now we have the lights, water and gas on and garbage maintenance covered and a new direction for doing business.
Then we want a full inspection of these properties done, to determine the costs to redevelop the properties and a renovation on all properties done at an estimated cost of no more than $300,000 in local labor and material brought as one major purchase, to create purchasing power. This money will come from the Federal and State government. Every building will be insured at its estimated value upon completion of renovation.
Meanwhile the owners of these properties or their management will be required to take and complete the Small Business Management Course at SFCC administered by the SBDC. At which time a comprehensive business plan will be drawn up for each business to prosper in the long term.
Then we will provide grants and/or government subsidized loans to these businesses. Such businesses should include and not be limited to activities necessary for the community at large to function such as; a grocery stores, laundry mate, office spaces, restaurants, hair solon and supplies store, barbershop, bar and other services as deemed needed and management qualified.