Washington, D.C. -- Today,
Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chair of the Committee on Business
and Economic Development, introduced the Protecting Local Area Commercial Enterprises (P.L.A.C.E.)
Amendment Act of 2019 or the ‘Affordable PLACE Act.’
The bill supports both legacy and small local businesses by
providing technical and financial assistance, incentivizing
landlords to enter into or renew leases with legacy businesses, and
creating protections to commercial tenants as they negotiate their
leases. The legislation would:
Establish the Legacy Business Program
within the Department of Small and Local Business Development
Authorizes DSLBD to issue grants to legacy
businesses of up to $50,000 per year.
Provide an opportunity for landlords to
apply for a tax abatement provided they enter into a lease
with an eligible small business.
Pays for the program by directing any
revenue collected by the Discount Fee to be directed to the
Legacy Business Program rather than to the general fund.
introduction of this legislation, Councilmember McDuffie said:
"This legislation is the
culmination of stakeholder engagement forums, small business
visits, and hundreds of hours talking and listening with small
businesses. It builds on conversations sparked by legacy businesses
such as Sankofa Video Books & Café, who faced a 25% increase in
their tax burden over the past couple years. It is for businesses
such as the Florida Avenue Grill whose owner testified to
experiencing a 400% increase in property taxes.
This legislation builds on my commitment and numerous public
statements to put forth a comprehensive approach to address locally
owned legacy businesses that are being pushed out due to the
increase in property taxes."