TROUTDALE, Ore. — Starting a business, especially a restaurant, can cost thousands of dollars. To attract businesses, the city of Troutdale is offering a big incentive for restaurants wanting to expand or start from scratch.
The Troutdale City Council recently voted to waive 100% of the sewer System Development Charges (SDCs) for new restaurants relocating to Troutdale, or for restaurants currently there who are looking to expand in the city. SDCs are one-time fees paid by business owners when they open up a new business or expand or modify facilities.
Troutdale Economic Development Coordinator Marlee Boxler said the funds are coming from the city’s general fund to offset the costs for restaurants.
"The sewer SDCs are very expensive for restaurants because they use a lot more water," Boxler said.
Two years ago, the city passed a temporary reduction in sewer SDCs, covering up to 50% for restaurants. Starting in January 2022, the city will subsidize 100% of SDCs, up to $150,000 for new sit-down restaurants.
Sam Purvis opened up an outpost of Good Coffee in downtown Troutdale in the middle of the pandemic. He said enrolling the program saved him thousands of dollars — which is why he moved his headquarters from Portland to Troutdale.
"We've looked at a number of these surrounding areas over the last couple of years, and it's cool to see cities get aggressive for these recruitments," said Purvis.
Purvis said he received about $6,000 in subsidies from the city.
"We see restaurants as a huge economic driver for our community and our community would love to see more options," said Boxler.