BRAWLEY â€” City council members George Nava and Donnie Wharton presented a business roundtable discussion to the Brawley city council during their regular meeting on April 4.
â€œWe asked our participants what are some of the challenges, benefits, or expenses that they have faced being downtown,â€ said Nava of a recent survey of business owners.
Several Brawley businesses were asked to discuss different topics such as the Downtown Specific Plan, business relocation, business incentives, community cleanup, lighting, and conducting a potential business survey.
At the discussion, council members learned the installation of, or rerouting the water meters and back-flow preventers are a major cost for local businesses. There were suggestions for some type of credit that could lessen the initial burden of the installation.
Other possible business incentives included making the downtown a â€œNo Fee Zone,â€ offering an employee hiring credit, offering a sales tax credit, have the option to pay impact fees just prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, and charging a minimum use fee to vacant building owners.
â€œIncentives may entice businesses to relocate or expand their business to the downtown area,â€ said Wharton.
Ideas for cleanup incentives included a focused cleanup of the downtown area, median landscaping, and a community cleanup day.
Suggestions includedÂ a downtown lighting plan which could change the look of the downtown areas at night. The city has a new lighting plan for the Plaza Park area to be put into place starting this year.
It was also suggested that a business survey could help to get a better picture of how local businesses see downtown Brawley.
â€œWe ended up getting some important input concerning the business climate from our discussion,â€ said Nava.