Knox Redevelopment Pilot Project Aims to Help Revitalize the Downtown Area

A business opportunity is being offered by city officials to help revitalize the downtown area in Knox.

When the City Council met last Thursday, Mayor Dennis Estok shared that the Redevelopment Commission has purchased a building that will be utilized for a proposed pilot program. He said the goal of the program is to provide some incentives to try and induce some business downtown.

Estok said, “This building is a perfect scenario for an entrepreneur to come in and try to start their business, at a very low risk, since the city is going to own it.”

If the business succeeds, the owner would then purchase the building from the city. He mentioned that Redevelopment Commission will be working in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center

SCEDF Office Located at 1915 S Heaton Street

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation office in Knox serves as the local site for the Small Business Development Center. The mayor said Special Projects Coordinator Ron Gifford will coordinate with business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to find the best fit for the program.

While he will be cooperating in the pilot program, Gifford mentioned that the Small Business Administration services are also offered year-round free of charge.

“I meet with anybody that wants to talk about the possibility of starting a new business. I assist them with putting together a business plan.” Gifford explained, “We work with them after they’re in business to make sure they don’t make any mistakes and to provide assistance with marketing and anything we can do to help them stay in business.”

Gifford noted that for this process, he would assist the owner with a business plan that would emphasize why they’re a viable candidate for the program.

If you want to get involved with the Knox Redevelopment Commission Pilot Project, you can contact the Mayor’s Office at 772-4553 or the Starke County Economic Development Foundation at 772-5627.