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Business owners weigh in on 45×30 plan’s retail incentives

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Local business owners are weighing in on tax incentives the city of Quincy is set to propose next week. It's all part of Mayor Kyle Moore's 45x30 plan.

Part of those incentives are aimed at filling large vacant buildings like the former Sears building but the question is will these incentives work?

Emerald City Jewelers owner Sheri Busse said her store feels different now that the former Shopko building is vacant.

"At first it was a little frightening but not so much now," said Busse.

But, she said that vacancy does have its benefits for her store.

"We're a little bit more out in the open. People notice us just as much, maybe better than before," said Busse.

But there's a new strategy to fill those vacant stores. An ordinance to authorize three retail initiatives is expected to go before Quincy City Council on Monday.

One of those is a grant program geared toward attracting retailers to fill those large anchor stores.

"The more things we have to offer the people in the community then the more traffic we'll be able to bring to Quincy," said Domestics Etc. Owner Joy Berhorst.

Berhorst said filling the former Sears building could help her second location in the mall.

"With Quincy Medical Group coming in and the new soccer place coming in, it would only be a big plus to have another big retailer out there," said Berhorst.

Another initiative focuses on specialty stores and national brands. It would offer those a sales tax rebate program. The third initiative is a sales tax reimbursement program that existing businesses can use to help finance improvements if their buildings are more than 20 years old.

The 45x30 plan is aimed at increasing the population of Quincy to 45,000 by 2030. It's funded through a food and beverage tax city council passed in November of last year.

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