Proof Brewery won’t be getting an extra $450,000 from local government.
Proof has expanded since its opening in 2002 and plans to relocate into the old Coca Cola building on the city’s southside. Proof is in line to receive tax incentives from the local office of economic development.
The business was hoping to get another $450,000 for infrastructure but the Community redevelopment Agency denied the grant in a 3-2 vote Monday.
Proof’s Sales and Events Director, Bryan Smith, says he’s disappointed.
"But we are excited to continue being able to give back to our community and move forward with the project," says Smith.
But local activist Miaisha Mitchell argued against giving the group extra funding because she’s concerned about alcohol abuse and the impact of gentrification in a mostly minority area of town.
Like Mitchell, many other community members voiced their concerns regarding alcohol abuse and poor economic development procedures.
“I think for us in our communities we are trying to find out why is it that many of the programs are sought into our community," Mitchell questioned, "You know, how come we don’t have performing arts, you know, those types of things that would enhance the quality of life.”
But, Smith says his company is a positive economic driver that has a projected impact of $23 million to the local community with plans create 20 new jobs. Smith adds that the company wants to also expand its charitable work.
“Over the past 2 years we have given cash and any kind of donations of $60,000," Smith explains, "and we have projected expectations to give over 250,000 in charitable contributions over the next 5 years.”