Rent Rebate Program
The Rent Rebate Program is designed to help facilitate the establishment of small businesses within Taunton’s Downtown Business District. The program allows the City of Taunton’s Office of Economic and Community Development (OECD) to provide rental assistance that is intended to help small businesses locating into vacant storefronts and upper floor spaces during the first two years of operation by reducing the cost of overhead expenses.
The Downtown Taunton Rent Rebate Program provides commercial rent subsidies for a two year period. The first year subsidy is up to $5.00 per square foot, the second year up to $2.50 per square foot.
The maximum total subsidy per business is $5,000 the first year and $2,500 the second year. This is a reimbursement program and documented rent payments will be reimbursed on a monthly basis.
DESIGNATED AREA and LOCATION
Eligible businesses must locate within currently vacant storefront or upper floor space within the designated area within Downtown Taunton. (The map included as part of these guidelines will serve as the official boundaries for program eligibility).
ELIGIBLE BUSINESSES AND CONDITIONS
Businesses eligible for this program must be “for profit” businesses new to Downtown Taunton. Businesses currently located in the downtown area moving from one location to another location in the same downtown area are not eligible.
The business must have an executed multi-year (2 year minimum) lease with an acceptable market or below market monthly lease rate. Occupancy must occur within 30 days of application approval, unless otherwise authorized in writing by OECD.
The rental space must be in compliance with all federal, state and local building, fire, health, and zoning codes and regulations.
Payments will cease if tenant discontinues the business, moves the business, purchases the building, or fails to comply with any and all building, fire, health or zoning codes or regulations applicable to the business.
The landlord must be current in all municipality applied taxes, utility bills or loans. Payments will cease if the landlord fails to be current with payments for property taxes, water and sewer bills, assessments, or city sponsored loan programs.
The rent charged by the landlord for the new tenant cannot be higher than the previous rent charged unless more than one year has elapsed since the space was occupied and the landlord can demonstrate that the new rent is the market rent.
The landlord cannot be the Tenant/Applicant.
The Rent Rebate Program is intended to target and recruit new businesses that provide a significant enhancement to the Downtown Taunton Business District. Applicants for the Rent Rebate Program will be evaluated by the City’s Office of Economic and Community Development staff on the following criteria:
- Degree to which the business provides an economic and added value to Downtown Taunton
- The business compliments other businesses in downtown
- Potential long-term viability
- Hours of operation
- Investment of business owner
- Jobs created
- Extent of customer base
- Square footage of rental spaceAll applications for the Rent Rebate Program will be considered on the degree to which they meet the selection criteria and on the availability of program funds. Funding is available on applications that are complete in meeting all criteria and on a “first come-first serve” basis. OECD reserves the sole authority to approve or disapprove applications based on what it views to be in the best interest of the City.The Rent Rebate Program will be effective as of March 1, 2016. For further information contact the City of Taunton’s Office of Economic and Community Development at 45 School Street Taunton, Massachusetts 02780, (508) 821-1030.
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