Daytona Beach, FL – The Daytona Beach City Commission unanimously approved both a multi-million dollar grant to bring Brown & Brown Insurance Company to Daytona and a new tattoo shop for Main St. on Wednesday.
The grant agreement with Brown & Brown would allow the business to relocate approximately 450 new jobs to Daytona Beach and construct a new 175,000 square foot, ten-story office building on Beach St. The move is ultimately expected to bring at least 600 new high-paying jobs to the area.
Under the grant agreement, the City would contribute $1,085,000 to Brown & Brown for the relocation of staff and $4.5 million for infrastructure improvements. Volusia County will also chip in $4.5 million for infrastructure (if approved at its Thursday meeting) and front another $900,000 that the County already approved for tax credits.
Some residents voiced their concern with the grant agreement during the City Commission meeting, calling the agreement “corporate welfare” and arguing that it was not a wise use of taxpayer money to give millions in tax credits and incentives to a company that is worth over a billion dollars. Other residents were in favor of the measure, saying that Brown & Brown would bring high paying jobs to the area.
Commissioners said that the opening of the Brown & Brown office would be a benefit to Daytona and that it would be well worth the incentive money. “You’ve got to build the infrastructure so that it will attract businesses and it will attract visitors and make people believe in Main St.,” says Mayor Derrick Henry. “You can’t look at the money today. You have to look at it over the next five, ten, 15, 20 years.”
Commissioner Kelly White says that while the public would be fronting the money, there is an advantage to the agreement. “We have the guarantee that through taxes, through impact fees, through all sorts of user fees like storm-water and trash (fees), we’re going to recoup that pretty quickly,” White explains.
Another measure the City approved was the rezoning to allow for a new tattoo shop at 514 Main St. just in time for Bike Week. The shop, Victory Tattoo, is owned by Robert and Jen Ellis of Daytona Beach and will also include a tattoo museum featuring historical photos and artwork. Now that the City has approved zoning for the shop, the business will need to be open at least 300 days a year and operate at least six hours a day.
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