Altona and Rhineland Municipality are trying to help stimulate business growth in the region by establishing a tax incentive program for new and growing businesses.

Both municipalities have approved bylaws that will waive municipal taxes for three years for businesses erecting a new commercial or industrial building, or large-scale addition/expansion. The communities of Plum Coulee, Gretna and Rosenfeld are also included in this program.

A news release issued by the town of Altona states the initiative between the two municipalities was done in the spirit of regional collaboration in an effort to help attract businesses to the region. "Our council feels this is another, and the next step, in establishing a strong, more unified economic relationship with Rhineland Municipality, and just as importantly, an effective consistent way for SEED to market our region for business establishment and growth," said Mayor Al Friesen.

Rhineland Reeve Don Wiebe said the concept of a common business tax incentive plan across the region was endorsed by his council. "We believe that this will be part of an effective marketing strategy designed to promote economic development across the region."

The program concept was spearheaded by SEED in an effort to market the region fairly and create a more business-friendly environment. Stephanie Harris, economic development officer for SEED commended both councils for the work they did in aligning the program. "This tax incentive will help SEED to react quickly to entrepreneurs who are looking to our region as a location for their business start-up, expansion or relocation."

A current expansion at the Sunvalley Co-op food store is just one example of a growing business in Altona.