Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke Helps Small Business Owners

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 5/08 6:31 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) - Cash incentives ... two words that make Chattanooga business owners smile from ear to ear.

Justin Wilson, a small business owner, says, "I definitely think it might speed up our growth."

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has his sights on growing small businesses.

If you're a employer who has less than 100 employees, and you expand by at least five, then the city wants to reward you with $500 per new hire.

Mayor Berke adds, "This is our way of ensuring that we encourage people to come here, perhaps to add another person or two on the days when these decisions are made."

And that's exactly what the program would do for Justin Wilson's automation repair business.

Instead of hiring five people over a span of one to two years, he said he would hire more at one time.

Mayor Berke says, "Those new employees pay their rent, they go and buy lunch at the local restaurant, they buy toys, and that grows our entire city."

That's the gist of it, but the city council has to sign off on it first.

If they do, then small businesses could start taking advantage of this program come July 1st.

Mayor Berke adds, "Growing small businesses is a way to show our commitment to the people who really make our city hum and buzz."

The hope is that these small business will soon become big businesses, and that means a big payoff for the city down the road.

Mayor Berke said the city will not be giving away an unlimited amount of money to small businesses.

He said at some point they'll have to cap the total amount of money the program will offer.
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