City directing efforts at revitalizing business, quality of
economic stimulus package Tuesday, after overwhelmingly supporting the concept
two weeks ago.
The package centers around five pillars; Merchant
Assistance, Hospitality, Construction, Developer/Broker Assistance and New City
For a total new investment of $500,000, the city hopes to
create $110 million in economic impact. The investment will come from the
Lancaster Redevelopment Agency, not the city's general fund.
One of the first items that could be rolled out as early as March
would be the Shop/Dine Lancaster program. If anyone spends $300 in the city of Lancaster,
they can bring their receipt to city hall and they will receive a $30 gift card
to a business located in Lancaster.
Another arm of this program is the Vehicle Registration
Rebate, which will allow anyone who buys a car in Lancaster
to receive a "rebate" gift card valued at 1% of their purchase. The gift card
will be good at a Lancaster
business. For example, if a patron were to purchase a car worth $30,000, they
would be eligible to receive a $300 gift card.
Brokers and developers will also get an added benefit for
bringing their business to Lancaster,
as the brokers will get a 1% incentive for every commercial property they sell,
and a 2% incentive for every property they lease out. Brokers on the other
hand, would enjoy expanded opportunities to defer impact fees until the
certificate of occupancy is issued for new construction projects.
Other highlights of the package include, on the hospitality
side, a new Convention Visitors Bureau. This hopes to better market ongoing
events and to bring new events into the city as well.
An acceleration in capital projects is predicted to generate
$29 million in economic impact, as Lancaster
is one of few areas in Los Angeles County
with room to grow. Additionally, the city will continue to use housing funds to
purchase foreclosed homes in deteriorated neighborhoods and fix them up. The
homes are then sold for the original purchase price plus repair costs, whereby
creating trade jobs and revitalizing established neighborhoods.
The current economic climate may force other cities to
follow in Lancaster's footsteps in
identifying their unique local needs and drumming up stimuli from within.