Port Wentworth just outside of downtown Savannah has recently approved initiatives to help small businesses get started. The development involves a loan program to assist small businesses in developing. This makes it a great time to be looking at Port Wentworth commercial property development. The City Council unanimously approved a program for loan guaranty in cooperation with the Savannah Small Business Assistance Corporation. The hope is that it will help facilitate rehabilitation of Port Wentworth real estate areas downtown. These commercial spaces are in desperate need of new retailers, and the proximity to Savannah commercial space should be attractive.
The agenda documents show that the city has already set up a $200,000 account for the loan guaranty pool. The SBAC plans to oversee the program as well as work to market it at prospective retailers. Phillip Claxton, the city manager of Port Wentworth, said that the program is using a similar one in Savannah as its template. The loan is positioned to aid both Port Wentworth commercial property owners and tenants in bringing old commercial buildings up to modern codes. Claxton said that many of the commercial spaces downtown cannot be leased until they have received major improvements to bring them up to standard. In other words, in order to be used, someone would have to go in and do major work. The retail recruiter contract is expected to cost $72,000 in the next year, but the city has already allowed for it in its budget.
Bringing new business into Port Wentworth real estate was a priority for the city’s economic development program, and Claxton said that they will study the current climate of Port Wentworth’s commercial space and then decide on companies that would best fit. The principal of Retail Attractions, Rickey Hayes, wrote a proposal to the city back in April and said that his firm had the contacts available to bring some of the desired retailers into the city. Hayes said, in part, that breathing new life into the retail community required relationships over reports and marketing, and that his firm already has those relationships. Not only that, but they are ready to immediately bring them to work in Port Wentworth. Savannah commercial space is very much in demand, but cities just to the outside, such as Port Wentworth, could also look very attractive just through proximity. Business levels of attractiveness to consumers usually depend primarily on demand and proximity. Demand is providing a desirable service, while proximity is how close the business is to the consumer.
Port Wentworth commercial property could thus function as an extension of Savannah commercial space and bring some of the same consumers to its doors. It’s a great time to look at Port Wentworth real estate for small business entrepreneurs as the city has just been made more friendly to new life in this sector. The city manager even said that they are not wasting any time starting these initiatives and have already contacted developers outside of the area. He said they are working on identifying the properties that they want to promote. The city wants to put forth a strategic effort to match properties with developers. In further economic development, the city also approved a contract for tourism promotion through a unanimous decision.
Other business by the city in recent weeks includes a roll-back millage rate that should help bring in more property tax revenue. Property values are increasing in the Savannah area and Port Wentworth is no exception. The council also adopted a $14.6 million budget for 2016, the fiscal year of which started on July 1. Big things are happening in the Savannah area with an influx of residents, increasing real estate values, port expansion and a large number of additional jobs. The metro area seems poised for a consistent upswing in the near future.