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City Considers Finder's Fees for New Business

Community Development Authority looks into an incentive program to spur new business, which includes rewards and incentives for anyone bringing new business into Muskego.

Giving the idea of "If you build it, they will come" a little additional help, Muskego may adopt an incentive program to further entice new businesses to build as the main street into the city undergoes a major facelift.

As glimpses of what will be are revealed along Janesville Road, City Planner Jeff Muenkel explained an proposed incentive program to the Community Development Authority Tuesday night. The development of such a program was just one of the recommendations to come out of an extensive marketing study on economic development in the city, and would likely include "finders fees" for anyone delivering new businesses to Muskego.

Drawing from a plan that is in effect in Grandview, MO, Muenkel said the program there has been very successful since its inception in 2008.

"In speaking with the city, I was told that they still receive about two calls every week from interested people wanting to recommend a business or a business wishing to learn more about development," Muenkel explained.

Some features of the Grandview program include:

  • Rewards for for successful leads, paid when the business opens. Rewards are determined by the size of the business (number of employees) and the businesses investment in property and capital equipment, and range from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • The city retaining the sole right to determine if suggested prospects are promising leads that should be pursued.
  • Restrictions on who is eligible to nominate businesses. Generally city employees involved directly with business development and elected officials were not eligible to receive "finders fees."
  • An oversight board to manage the program.

The CDA saw the potential return on investment, with a small fee in relation to the investment a business could in turn bring to the city.

Muenkel said he was not aware of any such similar program in any other Wisconsin city, and said Grandview matched up closely with Muskego in regard to size.

With the CDA's approval, Muenkel will gather more information from Grandview on the program and craft a preliminary draft of an incentive program for Muskego for the next meeting in October.

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