Wednesday, December 19, 2001
Luken: Why just help Saks?
Mayor proposes $5M fund to save small businesses
By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken said Tuesday he wants a $5 million fund created exclusively to help downtown small businesses.
The money would be drawn from the same source of downtown property taxes used to finance a $6.6 million aid package to keep Saks Fifth Avenue downtown.
It seems to me to help small businesses that are otherwise economically viable would put some parity in our treatment of (big) and small business, Mr. Luken said.
Mr. Luken's proposal comes after several businesses questioned the fairness of City Council's subsidy of Saks as smaller merchants struggle to stay afloat.
Downtown merchants such as Arnold's Restaurant and women's apparel retailer Georgiou at Tower Place have announced plans to curtail hours or close because of slow business.
Globe Furniture Galleries is considering shutting its doors, and the Diner on Sycamore in Over-the-Rhine has closed.
Downtown Cincinnati Inc. Chairman Clifford Bailey first urged Mr. Luken last week to consider establishing the fund.
Downtown-based businesses of all sizes have experienced trying times over the last few months, Mr. Bailey wrote in a Dec. 11 letter. Our feedback from small businesses indicates they have been significantly impacted.
Mr. Bailey's proposal calls for funds to help small businesses in downtown, West End and Over-the-Rhine to pay rent, renovate buildings and relocate.
Last week, City Councilman Chris Monzel asked the city's law department to investigate whether the DCI proposal was legal.
It wasn't legal, as written, the law department said, because it asked for assistance for businesses in neighborhoods outside downtown.
Also, city lawyers said, tax-increment financing funds can be used only to fund property improvements, not to help pay rent.
Under Mr. Luken's proposal, only downtown businesses would be eligible.
Air security deadline looms
Bomb screening next hurdle
Luken: Why just help Saks?
Many are unhappy with sales-tax hike
Chief Streicher: City could use more cops
Death penalty stirs debate
Despite recent flood death, concrete slab bridges will stay
DNA used to indict 3 in rapes
FOP deducts pay to battle Issue 5
Money sought for mandates
Nikki Losekamp, fund-raiser to fight blood disorder, dies
Task force recommends better technology for police force
Tristate A.M. Report
UC, faculty break contract impasse
Webster pledges advocacy
RADEL: Ban the Klan
HOWARD: Some Good News
78 acres approved for Mason
Famous pork now in school cafeteria
Lebanon talks of job cuts, income tax changes
Papa Galo's to host dinner for needy in Clermont
Backup runner gets chance to shine
Bellevue project wins preliminary OK
Count on refund, but not soon
Covington changes enforcement, rules of city building code
Eagle candidate is holiday helper
Kentucky News Briefs
Liquor sting nets 12 suspects
Ludlow auction nets $5,000
Students show patriotism with calendar art
Traffic accident leads to arrests in check forging