Finding Financial and Business Incentives Across the United States
All different sized businesses can and should take advantage of grants and other forms of economic incentives to help their businesses save money. Whether it’s a tax subsidy (i.e. tax credit, special exemption, tax abatement or other tax savings) or a capital grant for making
investments in new plant or equipment, training grants to help fund workforce development, or rebates for energy efficiency, dozens – indeed thousands – of programs exist across the US. The key is to understand how to gain access to these programs, what they are, how they work, and how to maximize potential benefits.
Here are our top 5 practical tips for gaining access and gauging eligibility:
If business is going through growth, or if there are plans to make changes to help business get to the next level, these decisions can be important triggers in terms of available programs. For example, if your business is looking to create more jobs, train existing workers, invest in new equipment, sign a new lease or renew a lease, buy property, or relocate or expand in some way, any one or all of these can trigger programs to incentivize business.
Look at grants.gov, stateincentives.org and dsireusa.org. These three list grants by federal agencies (grants.gov) for all types of businesses and organizations, and all federal and statewide grants and other incentives (stateincentives.org), plus renewable energy and energy efficiency (dsireusa.org). Use of these resources is absolutely free to the public. It takes some digging to get through them, but they are excellent and comprehensive and generally up to date.
If you are working on a groundbreaking innovation (i.e: new software, a new energy or life sciences product or process or service or the like), take a look at the federal government’s SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant program. It’s an excellent source of money for seed funding for basic R&D. Also, look at R&D Tax credit federal programs to support research for product development or others.
Be sure your “house” is in order. If you want to increase your chances of getting grants or other economic benefits, you need to make sure of certain fundamentals:
Corporation is duly registered
Business is current on all taxes
Business is supported by solid management to administer any funding or subsidy project
Business finances are in order
Business is in full compliance with applicable laws. Government agencies and grant makers do thorough background checks. If a business doesn’t get clearance or approval, you may not pass initial review.
5. Be patient, be tenacious, and be diligent. If you seriously want to pursue grants or other incentives for your business, be prepared to spend time and effort navigating the maze. You need to give focused attention to the effort and be prepared for the process to take a while. Do not dismay. This is normal, and with tenacity, your efforts can pay off nicely.
Moreover, ask yourself an important question. Is your business growing or doing something new, which promotes the economy? If so, consider whether your state, or local government has economic development programs to help your business.
Nearly 2,000 financial incentive programs are currently in use by all states across the nation. These programs are meant to influence the location of business investment and to promote job opportunities.
If you have questions regarding economic incentives, program eligibility or interested to pursue such subsidies, please contact us.
Author: Geoffrey Smith, Vice President of Marketing at the New York Grant Company, a private consulting firm specializing in securing financial incentives.