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Fredericksburg's Business Community Grows

The city's tourism and business development officials tout major progress in fourth quarter, to include 10 new businesses or expansions. The owners of Bistro Bethem plan to open a new restaurant this summer.

Fredericksburg's business and development programs made huge strides in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The most-recent newsletter touts many of these accomplishments. Food lovers might be most excited about Blake and Aby Bethem's new business venture at 314 William St. which is across the street from . The Bethems' new joint that opens this summer will focus on hamburgers, fries, salads and small-plate fare. The restaurant, which will locate in the old Wegner Wildlife Gallery, will have a full bar and seat 60 people inside, 30 in the backyard courtyard and 25 on the sidewalks. In the future, they hope to seat 40 people on a roof-top deck.

The city has already approved a nine-year incentive program for the Bethems that is worth up to $75,150 if they invest $250,000 in new capital improvements, retain 12 full-time employees and generate at least $38,500 in meals and sales taxes. The Bethems will continue to operate Bistro Bethem.

The city also saw 10 news businesses or expansions during the fourth quarter:

■    Sweet Reasons, 1,300 square feet,  1672 Carl D. Silver Pkwy.

■    7,500 square feet, 409 Caroline St.

■    The Boutique at Caroline Street, 1,800 square feet, 724-726 Caroline St.
■    I Work, 1,000 square feet, 612 Caroline St.

■    Greenbrier Percussion, 1,700 square feet, 721 Caroline St.

■    M.R.L., Inc. (Gov’t Contracting Group), 700 square feet,  500 Lafayette Blvd.

■    Eagle Security Group, 1,679 square feet, 1380 Central Park Blvd., Suite 202 ■    Hilldrup Companies, Inc., 60,000 square feet, 1115 Tyler St.

■    Bienek, 2,288 square feet, 520 William St., Suite E

■    Olde Town Butcher - expansion, 2,362 square feet, 405 William St.

HOKIENERD February 26, 2012 at 02:46 PM
How did businesses ever survive in the days before incentives? Was there some crazy source of revenue other than handouts? I vaguely remember something called a profit motive, but I guess that is now secondary in the age of bailouts. After all, why would anyone create a business based on something as risky as profit? Would these businesses have been created without the incentives? If so, we don't need the incentives. If not, then they are likely VERY risky investments. (And if you argue that they would have been created somewhere else, then it just goes to show what a waste of money this is. Communities fighting each other to give away money to businesses, when the businesses would have been created anyway.)

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