San Marcos City Council adopts legacy business program

The program is being developed with input from Main Street Advisory Board and the Historic Preservation Commission. (Photo Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
The program is being developed with input from Main Street Advisory Board and the Historic Preservation Commission. (Photo Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

The program is being developed with input from Main Street Advisory Board and the Historic Preservation Commission. (Photo Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

San Marcos City Council signed off on a program Oct. 19 to direct the city to move forward on creating a program to provide aid and technical support to small businesses considered historically significant and underserved.

The Legacy Business Program, brought forward from recommendations provided by the San Marcos Historic Preservation Commission and Main Street Advisory Board, will look for ways to identify qualified businesses that meet a number of criteria, such as being owned and operated by successive generations of the same family, its goods or services being designated as perpetuating San Marcos’ authenticity, being located in a historic district or in a building designated a historic landmark and other criteria.

The model for the program was based off of lessons learned from legacy business programs created in San Antonio and San Francisco according to city documents.

San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson wanted to clarify whether those businesses that opt into the program have to utilize the financial incentives part of the program.

“Can you just be part of this program because you meet all the criteria that we had, or must you be seeking funding?” she asked.


“I think one of the things that staff suggested is for those businesses that really are seeking some sort of financial incentive, we add a financial incentive component to it,” said City Manager Bert Lumbreras. “But you're right, it doesn't necessarily have to have that economic component.”

Incentives could include tax rebates, reduced or waived development fees or other infrastructure-related assistance.

One question brought forward was whether the amount of time in business could be changed. The program presented by city staff states that a business must be at least 20 years old and meet one of the other qualifying criteria.

“The 20 years is a good starting spot but I would be curious what the difference in terms of eligible businesses would be today when we move it from there to 10 to 15,” said council member Maxfield Baker. “You know, it's, it's unfortunate that companies, small businesses don't make it past a year or two, and we know that sometimes a small business can start up and immediately become part of the culture or it grew out of the culture that already existed,” he said.
By Eric Weilbacher

Editor, New Braunfels and San Marcos/Buda/Kyle

Eric joinedCommunity Impact Newspaper as an editor in July 2021, returning to journalism after several years in the New Braunfels business community. Prior to CI, Eric freelanced for multiple publications and was a reporter for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. He brings a passion for accurate, compelling story telling and human interest to his work.



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