The City of Lexington is dedicated to giving businesses and entrepreneurs the assistance and support necessary for successful start-up, operation and expansion. Lexington's Office of Business and Community Development is a great resource to help your business dreams become a reality. The process for starting a business is outlined below.
Start with a Business Plan
A strong business plan can make all the difference in being successful. If you do not already have a business plan, the Davidson County Community College's Small Business Center can help, and it's free! You do not have to be enrolled to work with DCCC. Its qualified staff can make sure you have accounted for everything from advertising to cleaning supplies!
Many local banks and lending institutions have loan programs to finance your new business (or business expansion). An additional flexible and low-interest option that my be helpful is the Business Investment Fund through the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, one of the City's partner agencies.
Visit the Lexington Office of Business and Community Development (BCD)
Business and Community Development will be your one-stop shop for the rest of the process. This includes business development and recruiting, planning, zoning, permitting, building inspections, fire inspections, code enforcement, as well as coordination with other City departments as needed. The office is located at 31 West First Street and the main number is (336) 248-3900.
If you already have a business plan and financing, but aren't sure of where to locate your business, contact Tammy Absher, Director of Business and Community Development at mobile (336) 479-0122 or TVAbsher@LexingtonNC.gov. With more than two decades of local planning experience, Tammy can provide insight relative to zoning, growth areas and patterns, optimal locations, as well as contact information for available properties. To support business development, the City of Lexington provides a searchable, online solution to both post and search for privately-owned commercial and industrial properties for lease or sale. A Chrome or Firefox browser is required for the following online tools:
- To create an account to start posting privately-owned commercial and industrial properties, click here
- If you already have an account, you can log in and post properties by using the web application found here
- To browse available properties, please click here
Additionally, the Davidson County Economic Development Commission website is also a great resource for industrial businesses.
If you choose to build, City Planner Josh Monk (336) 248-3900 or JTMonk@LexingtonNC.gov will be your primary contact. New commercial construction requires a Major Zoning Permit, which is reviewed by the Planning Board and approved by City Council. It may sound intimidating, but don't worry; it's a relatively simple process and Josh will assist you. He can guide you on building and site plan requirements, the application form, and he'll also coordinate with the utility departments to ensure services are available. Josh will even present the item to the Planning Board and City Council on your behalf, although you should plan to attend the meeting. The Major Zoning Permit is typically about a 6-week process from start to finish.
If you are planning to lease or buy an existing building, it is recommended that you call the Lexington Office of Business and Community Development to request a courtesy inspection. A building inspector will be glad to meet you on-site to look over the space and point out any red flags or major repairs that may be required. You can also sign up for utilities at City Hall to help you get started on renovations. Chief Building Inspector Michael Cranford (336) 250-0459 and Building Inspector Glenn Sheets (336) 240-2068 are your points of contact for inspections. Once planning, building inspections, and fire inspections have signed-off, a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) will be issued for you to hang in your new business and you can officially open! CO's are issued by the Office of Business and Community Development. You can either come by the office located at 31 West First Street, or call (336) 248-3900 to apply for a CO.
Keep In Mind:
If your business is located within Uptown, check with Uptown Lexington, Inc. to determine if you are eligible for any façade, signage, or window grants.
For more information:
Contact Tammy Absher, Director of Business and Community Development, at TVAbsher@LexingtonNC.gov or call her directly at (336) 479-0122.
Please also visit the Doing Business section of our website for additional information about locating or expanding your business in Lexington. Consider signing up for e-news to stay abreast of news and events or follow the City of Lexington on Facebook or Twitter!