JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jeffersontown is not just a Louisville suburb, it's the tenth-largest city in Kentucky with nearly 1,600 companies.

But J'town wants to add to that number and has taken steps to try to increase the number of businesses that want to locate there.

According to Jeffersontown leaders, during the past year about 120 new businesses opened in J'town.

Many of them were described as light industrial.

Now political leaders are trying to recruit more office type companies.

"We always gave incentives to manufacturers and to big corporate headquarters but we never did much to help the small business guy," said Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf.

Dieruf says that is now changing.

According to Dieruf, he and his administration are working to fill many of the office buildings that currently have a number of 'Now Leasing' signs posted.

"The metro area, and here in J'town, the office space ranges from 15 to 20 percent vacant," Dieruf said. "So that is where we need to put our key resources to work."

Last month the Jeffersontown City Council approved a new incentive program to attract small office type companies.

"They are the ones that are growing: the software developers, the architects, the engineers; those kinds of companies as the economy turns around they are flourishing," explained the director of the Jeffersontown Economic Development Authority, Mike Kmetz.

The incentives will allow small companies that meet certain qualifications to get a refund based on occupational taxes generated over a five year period.

"The refund can be used to give back to the employees, or create more jobs, or could be used to help the company to grown here," said Dieruf.

He says the city continues to invest in infrastructure improvements, including new sidewalks and bike paths.

At a meeting early Tuesday morning, the mayor asked local commercial real estate brokers to help him find new companies.

The mayor also says he wants to encourage businesses already in J'town to stay and grow in his city.

"It is time to tell the business community it is time to move, it is time to grow," the mayor told his audience.

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