The zone targeted for Spring Road between Atlanta and Jonquil roads would give small business owners a tax credit of $3,500 per job after creating two or more jobs. That credit can be claimed for up to five years as long as the jobs are maintained, said Jered Sigmon, economic development coordinator for the city.
The program is administered through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
John Carmichael, owner of C-COMM 911, 2600 Matthews St., near Roswell Street, says it’s a reason to take another look at growing his staff.
“We would definitely explore the opportunity of hiring more people,” Carmichael said.
The small business outfits police cruisers with sirens, lights and other communication equipment and employs about three people. Carmichael said he’s looking to expand his market and could use another employee to head that up.
“I would consider it definitely to be an incentive to seek out new business and, of course, with that grow your work force,” Carmichael said.
He’s been in business in Smyrna for 12 years and says it’s mostly been steady, but he wasn’t exempt from the hit many small business owners took during the Great Recession.
“People wouldn’t think that police departments run out of money, but if you think about it, taxpayers pay their taxes into the city or county general fund and that’s what funds the police department,” Carmichael said.
About 677 acres in Smyrna are already considered to be in an opportunity zone. Since that zone was approved, 12 businesses have received tax credits associated with the designation. A 13th business has an application underway now.
The Smyrna City Council will vote on sending the opportunity zone application to the state at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at 2800 King St.
“The opportunity zone is an attractive incentive for the city to be able to offer small businesses which do not qualify for city incentives,” Sigmon said.
Cobb County has also implemented opportunity zones, including one near Six Flags, and has one proposed for Canton Road.