More than $225,000 of those tax credits will be targeted for Wilmington and Dover properties,
Tax credits will provide a boost for certain businesses, many of them struggling to recover from Irene’s flood. The credits can be converted into cash, which will give direct help to the recipients. The cash will also provide a boost for the larger community by helping to stimulate some needed reconstruction and needed jobs.
We applaud the efforts to help rebuild Wilmington and the greater Deerfield Valley economy. This latest news is just one more piece of the larger puzzle needed to put the valley back together again. Since Tropical Storm Irene hit, there have been numerous programs made available to local businesses, including the tax credits, Vermont Economic Development Authority emergency recovery loans, and marketing dollars from the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. All of this has helped rebuild the valley, and build a stronger local public-private partnership.
There are a couple of interesting points that arise out of all this. The first is whether or not all the state and federal assistance has been enough to really help with the Irene recovery efforts. Many would probably say no, but the reality is that no one really knows. Last time this happened, when major flooding took place in 1938, there wasn’t the same amount of relief available as now. In those last days of the Great Depression, most folks were on their own. Although certainly not perfect, the current efforts focused on the valley should be appreciated, even if the assistance has been uneven at best.
The other interesting thing about the tax credits is local projects are receiving the credits. As best we can recall, that’s a first for the valley. Applause needs to be given to all the parties involved in securing the credits: the property and business owners, local government, local and state development agencies, and staff of all these entities for their focused efforts.
One outcome we hope this week’s news will spur is an increased attempt by local businesses and entrepreneurs to work with local government agencies to pursue more development assistance. Not all will be successful, of course. But, as this week’s announcement shows, local projects can be successful in pursuit of development assistance. It also shows that public-private partnerships are a viable way to build a stronger economy and rebuild a stronger community.