In many arenas, the goal of government is to "level the playing field." In the business development arena, a more apt motto might be "all is fair in love and war." Despite spending cuts in many areas, states compete against one another to provide economic incentives for businesses and continue to provide advantageous funding, tax breaks and other non-monetary incentives for businesses to put down roots - and create jobs - in a particular area.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the largest government entity providing grants and financing help to start-ups. However, each of the 50 states (and DC, Puerto Rico and other non-state governments) also provides significant incentives for businesses that locate their headquarters and/or operations in that state. The following resources may be available to help you with your start-up:
- State-Level Loans , Guarantees and Grants. Nearly all states offer small businesses, including start-ups, loans, grants and/or loan guarantees.
- Business Training Seminars. Many state agencies offer low- or no-cost seminars on start-up relevant topics, such as Internet marketing, grant application basics, and business finance/accounting.
- Employee Education Programs. Many state agencies partner with the SBA and educational institutions to help train or re-train workers, including training for specific industries or business types. These are particularly helpful if you plan to hire from economically depressed regions and/or hire displaced workers.
- Significant Tax Breaks. Virtually all states offer some kind of tax break, whether they be corporate tax or real estate tax breaks, for businesses. In some cases, such tax breaks can be used for projects that are already in process or even complete. In virtually all cases, tax breaks are based on the number of jobs those businesses offer or will provide in that state.
This post on Financing Strategies was authored by Caitlin Vaughn.