Rent plan worth try

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Here’s an idea that might create new businesses, and encourage people to take a leap of faith and see dreams come true.

We have seen many businesses come and go in the Aiken and Augusta downtown areas. We have downtown associations and revitalization programs that seem to be trying everything, to no avail.

The root of the problem is the cost of rent.

I propose that property owners cut rent costs in half for new businesses during their first year. The second year, the rent goes to 75 percent; the third is full price, agreed on at the time of the contract. This would encourage start-ups by raising the opportunity for success.

It’s been said that it takes three years for a business to be successful – and, quite frankly, isn’t some rent better than no rent at all?

The second part of this plan would encourage property owners to take part in the program. They would, in turn, receive a property tax break on the same three-year scale. The downtown areas would be the pilot program. If it works, spread it to other struggling areas of Aiken and Richmond counties.

Robbie Bellamy

North Augusta, S.C.

(The writer is coordinator for the Aiken County Tourism Program.)

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deestafford
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deestafford 08/24/14 - 12:31 am
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I've got a question....

I've got a question. What if the property owner needs 100% of that rent money to pay mortgage, insurance, taxes and upkeep of said property?

corgimom
33999
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corgimom 08/24/14 - 07:46 am
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deestafford, stop making

deestafford, stop making sense!

As if a property owner would be willing to take that kind of hit. Gee, wonder if THEIR mortgage holder would be willing to forgo their money, too?

What a hare-brained idea.

corgimom
33999
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corgimom 08/24/14 - 07:48 am
3
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Most small businesses fail

Most small businesses fail within 2 years because the owners don't do their research, don't have an appropriate business plan, have unrealistic ideas, and are undercapitalized.

They think that they are going to draw a salary from day 1, and it just doesn't work that way.

justthefacts
22680
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justthefacts 08/24/14 - 07:55 am
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Actually

Many lessors give reduced rent rates up front. 6 months free rent is common. If you are not getting a front end deal, you are not negotiating very well.

hoptoad
13574
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hoptoad 08/24/14 - 08:38 am
5
1
Lack of capital is the

Lack of capital is the biggest reason businesses fail, not the cost of rent. This is one of the first lessons you learn in business classes. Poor management and lack of knowledge of that particular business are close seconds for a business' failure.

Surely buildings such as the long ago abandoned ones in Augusta proper could afford to lease with very little rent though. I would imagine they have long since been paid for and owners are only paying taxes and insurance on them.

Tax breaks on refurbishing materials and labor would help, as well as city/county tax breaks for the first couple of years. Many states are offering this to attract businesses.

deestafford
28616
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deestafford 08/24/14 - 09:05 am
5
1
It takes both guts and ignorance to open a business...

It takes both guts and ignorance to open a business.

So many successful business people have said, "If I knew when I started this business what I know now I never would have done it."

Dreams are strong things and without them we would not be what we are today. Dreams are the things that cause us to do things that people say can't be done.

jimmymac
42870
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jimmymac 08/24/14 - 12:13 pm
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DREAMS
Unpublished

Many people open businesses that they dream of having. However dreams won't keep a business profitable. I know a gal who made great money at her job in a field she was well educated for. She dreamed of owning a restaurant because she said she liked to cook. I told her that running a restaurant was nothing like cooking in your kitchen at home. She spent her life savings, mortgaged her house, quit her great paying job and opened a restaurant. All of her family and friends(me included) helped her get the place opened. We all supported her with business and although she wasn't loosing money she found out running a business wasn't a hobby. It's a 24/7 lifestyle. After two years in business she decided she had enough. The daily strain of people not showing up for work, ordering staples at night, spending 12 hrs. a day in a hot kitchen, dealing with a demanding public wasn't what she envisioned. She's closed the restaurant and went back to doing what she originally planned to do. She still dreams but now it's about going to a beach and having a Pina Colada.

Darby
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Darby 08/24/14 - 12:45 pm
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4
Sound to me as though..

Mr. Bellamy got his training from (You didn't build that..) Barry Obama.

Don't need no stinking free enterprise system.

Young Fred
17860
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Young Fred 08/24/14 - 10:30 pm
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justthefacts

the agreements you speak of usually involve long term, very long term, leases.

It's not unheard of to negotiate deals, but for a prop owner to offer the kind of deal the letter writer suggest, probably means there's a problem with the property, premium locations have no need to negotiate.

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