Next week, the Orlando City Council is scheduled to look at it’s business incentive program. An arrangement that pays companies to stay downtown, instead of possibly losing those organizations to other communities (story HERE).
This bribe is priced somewhere between $30K-$40K at a minimum for smaller companies with at least ten employees and much higher depending on how big they are.
And make no mistake about it, this is a bribe and another sign of how overpaid partnership groups are using your money to keep companies downtown and then take all of the credit for it later.
The truth is that downtown Orlando, is well, downtown Orlando. The formula for success is already there in the “Heart of the I4 Corridor”. Companies already have what they need in one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
Another truth is that Orlando politicians are scared of the business leaders that handle the buildings these companies are working in. Instead of implementing a price for commercial space that’s fair, the city would rather give the companies your money and let the renters have their increase.
Then they’ll turn it around and brag about how business is booming in Orlando. An economic loot box to convince themselves they’re winning the game.
Instead, they’re just hacking the game by paying for victories.
A real formula for winning is to make the infrastructure downtown as ideal for businesses to work for as much as possible.
This means not breaking the bank for an office and encouraging more co-working spaces.
This means providing more parking that isn’t going to cause potential clients to come out of pocket before they’ve even shaken anyone’s hands.
And this definitely means improving conditions on Orange and Rosalind come the the afternoon rush. This way, you don’t have to leave your office at 4:30 to ensure you get home by 6.
These are real solutions. Giving out more money will just cause vendors to continue to raise their prices, while not really presenting a better environment for business than one of the nearby municipalities.
Let’s hope the city council realizes this soon.