Incentives--State of Florida/Broward County
Following are examples of relocation and expansion incentives and assistance available in Broward County and the Greater Fort Lauderdale region:
Qualified Target Industry Refund (QTI)
Tax refund incentives are available to companies that create high-wage, value-added jobs in targeted industries such as (but not limited to): communications, corporate headquarters, research & development, manufacturing and electronic equipment. Preapproved applicants who create jobs 10 or more jobs can be eligible to receive tax refunds from $3,000 to $5,000 per new Florida full- time equivalent job created. Industries in high impact performing sectors are eligible for an additional $2,000 per job bonus. An additional $1,000 per job is available to companices who locate in an Enterprise Zone.
Qualifying companies must pay a minimum of 115 percent of Broward County's average wage (average wage rates are revised every January). New or expanding businesses in selected targeted industries or corporate headquarters are eligible.
High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI)
The High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI) is a negotiated incentive used to attract and develop major high-impact facilities in Florida. Grants are provided to pre-approved applicants in certain high-impact sectors designated by the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.
In order to participate in the program, a company must: be in a designated high-impact sector; create at least 100 new full-time equivalent jobs (if a research and development facility, create at least 75 new full-time equivalent jobs) in Florida in a 3-year period; and make a cumulative investment in the state of at least $100 million (if a research and development facility, make a cumulative investment of at least $75 million) in a 3-year period.
Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC)
The Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) is an annual credit against the project's Florida Corporate Income Tax for up to 20 years. Eligible projects are those in designated, high-impact sectors (currently silicon technology, biotechnology, transportation, equipment manufacturing or some information technology facilities) that create at least 100 jobs and invest at least $25 million in eligible capital costs. Eligible capital costs include all expenses incurred in the acquisition, construction, installation and equipping of a project from the beginning of construction to the commencement of operations. The level of investment and the project's Florida Corporate Income Tax liability for the 20 years following commencement of operations determines the amount of the annual credit. Florida's Corporate Income Tax Rate is 5.5 percent of apportioned taxable income.
Broward County Job Growth Incentive (JG)
The Job Growth (JG) direct cash incentive is a local community inducement that is designed to encourage the growth of high-skill/high-wage qualified jobs in Broward County. Local support is required from both the municipality and Broward County. The business must serve multi-state and/or international markets, and the business must be able to locate in other states. New or expanding businesses in selected targeted industries or corporate headquarters are eligible; a minimum of 100 new jobs must be created.
The company should include a detailed explanation of why the additional incentives are required to locate and/or expand in the project in Broward County. New jobs must be at a minimum of 115% of Broward County's average wage and can qualify for up to $2,000 per job. The county's portion is not to exceed $200,000.
Quick Response Training Incentives (QRT)
Quick Response Training Incentives (QRT) is a customer-driven training program designed to assist new value-added businesses and provide existing Florida businesses with the necessary training for expansion. This program is customized, flexible and responsive to individual company needs. Workforce Florida Inc. is Florida's innovative private-public partnership for competitive workforce incentives.
Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWT)
Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) is a program providing training to currently employed workers to keep Florida's workforce competitive in a global economy and to retain existing businesses. The program is available to all Florida businesses that have been in operation for at least one year prior to application and require training for existing employees.
Employed Worker Training Program (EWT)
Employed Worker Training (EWT) is a program provided through Broward's Workforce One. The goal of this locally funded program is to upgrade the skills of existing employees and is flexible enough to meet many training requirements. The program provides industry- or company-specific training for employees, which can be customized to a company's individual objectives. It is designed for companies that need to advance the skills of existing employees for the purpose of advancing their wages and positions, and to assist employees in retaining for jobs that provide self-sufficient employment. From line-staff workers to professional-level employees, productivity and morale are sure to increase as a result of exposure to real-world lessons from industry experts.
Economic Development Transportation Fund
The Economic Development Transportation Fund, commonly referred to as the "Road Fund," is an incentive tool designed to alleviate transportation issues related to a specific company's location or expansion decision. These grants are limited to $2 million and are awarded to the local government for public transportation facility improvements.
Urban Incentives Florida offers increased incentive awards and lower wage qualification thresholds for businesses locating in many urban-core/inner-city areas that are experiencing conditions affecting the economic viability of the community and hampering the self-sufficiency of the residents.
Enterprise Zone Program
Any Broward business can take advantage of substantial tax relief and other incentives by locating or expanding into a geographic area targeted by the state for revitalization. Many entrepreneurs are investing in these Enterprise Zones to earn incentives, such as thousands of dollars in credit for job creation in the targeted zone and refunds for business machinery, equipment and building materials used in the zone. Credits against Florida corporate income tax are available for: wages paid to new employees who live in the targeted area; property taxes paid on new or improved business property in the zone; and donations to local community development projects.
Florida offers incentives to businesses that locate in brownfield sites, which are underutilized industrial or commercial sites due to actual or perceived environmental contamination. The Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus Refund is available to encourage brownfield redevelopment.
Below Market-rate Loans
A wide array of sound financial institutions and specialized government financing programs are available in Broward. Short-term loans for real estate, equipment or operating capital are available for qualified applicants.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several loan programs that provide financial aid to small businesses. A few of the most popular programs are Basic 7(a) Business Loan, Micro-loans, and the CDC/504 Program. Micro-loan lenders and Certified Development Companies (CDC) work with the SBA to provide financing to small businesses. The Micro-loan Program provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to non-profit, community-based lenders (intermediaries) that, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $10,500. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary and all credit decisions are made at the local level.
Industrial Revenue Bonds
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) provide a source of long-term, sub-prime market financing of capital requirements for relocating or expanding manufacturing and tax exempt 501(c)3 facilities. IRBs are securities issued by local governments or government agencies for the purpose of financing the capital costs of private and not-for-profit projects. Although the bonds are considered special obligations of a government unit and therefore exempt from federal income tax on the interest, the bonds are not backed by the faith and credit of the government or the government agency. The private borrower is responsible for the debt and must provide adequate security and guarantees the bond as outlined in section 18.62 of the Broward County Administrative Code. Several examples of capital costs that can be financed are land acquisition and construction costs, the acquisition of a building and a minimum renovation of 15% of the facility, as well as machinery and equipment.
South Florida Regional Planning Council Revolving Loan Fund
The South Florida Regional Planning Council Revolving Loan Fund provides loans of $50,000 to $300,000 to small to medium-sized businesses in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. The loans are for existing businesses looking to expand or relocate, create jobs and/or retain jobs. Examples of loan uses include financing to expand to a new location, upgrading equipment and providing needed working capital. The loans provide opportunities for businesses to obtain financing where credit is not otherwise granted. Some of the criteria for receiving the loans include: the applicant must attempt to secure conventional financing first before applying; must show proof of denial from a conventional financier; and the owner must have a 10 to 20 percent equity stake in the project. Funding cannot be used for the acquisition of a business, business assets or stock. For more information visit www.sfrpc.com/rlf.htm.
Corporate Income Tax
Florida's corporate income tax rate is one of the nation's lowest at 5.5 percent of Florida net income. In Florida, that amounts to just over 6 percent of total state tax revenue. The national average is nearly 8.5 percent. In Broward County, businesses pay no corporate income tax on foreign source dividends (as defined in the federal tax code). They can also receive tax credits by hiring individuals from targeted groups. Adjusted federal income is apportioned to Florida, in accordance with a three-factor formula, which is the ratio of Florida's portion of property, payroll and sales taxes to the totals of those factors in the firm's entire operation.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance
The Alliance helps businesses navigate through the relocation or expansion process by serving as a government liaison to expedite project activity. In addition, the Alliance provides site selection assistance and can work as an intermediary for introductions to local real estate experts. The Alliance also provides key market intelligence including demographics, labor availability, taxes, cost of living comparisons and research on request; workforce, recruitment and training assistance can also be provided. County and municipal partners offer fast-track permitting, a process that accelerates the normal time it takes to acquire permits. For assistance from the Alliance, please call 954-524-3113.