The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

October 4, 2013

City of Enid, ERDA deserve credit for luring economic development

ENID, Okla. — In the past, Enid was a town that just let things happen.

If an entrepreneur wanted to invest in a widget manufacturing company, for example, we would help them get their licenses and permits.

And we didn’t have a coordinated marketing effort for the community and an incentive package to put Enid on top.

Now, we’re grateful the city of Enid and the Enid Regional Development Alliance have turned out millions in public money to businesses — luring them here, helping them get started or simply by keeping the doors open.

Offering help to industrial and retail outlets is certainly helping the city and Garfield County.

Renovating vacant or blighted buildings is an important benchmark a retail outlet must meet to get help from ERDA.

Map details highlighting incentives

They also can increase Enid’s trade area by attracting customers from other towns, and they must prove they can increase the total sales tax revenue instead of cannibalizing business from other shops.

The ERDA, a nonprofit funded in part by the city, doesn’t just hand out checks to attract business.

“We don’t do that in Enid, nor would I support us doing something like that in Enid,” Executive Director Brent Kisling said. “You’ve got to perform in order for that incentive to be paid.”

Northstar Agri Industries, which is building a canola-processing plant in Enid, is one of those that might have gone elsewhere without help.

We appreciate the ERDA’s continuing economic develop efforts for Enid and the surrounding community.

Go to enidnews.com to view a map detailing of incentives provided by the Enid Regional Development Alliance and the city of Enid since November 2010.

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