Vermont Awards $2.4M Tax Incentives for 37 Local Economic Development Projects

The State of Vermont has allocated $2.4 million in tax incentives for 37 local economic development projects that are investing a total of nearly $78 million on downtown and village center construction and rehabilitation.

Vermont

Photo – vermont.gov

Gov. Peter Shumlin said these incentives are proven to jumpstart transformation in communities and have business, jobs and housing to downtowns and village centers across Vermont.

 “And when we put people to work revitalizing our communities, we not only support local economic development – we’re building a better and stronger Vermont for the next generation,” added Gov. Shumlin.

For example, the old High School in Brandon, VT has been vacant for more than 25 years. It is now being rehabilitated into a housing complex with nine market rate apartments located within walking distance of the Town’s central business district.

This $2,500,000 project in Brandon, which is getting $125,000 in tax credits, will not only create jobs and rental housing, but also boost the local tax base.

Another project getting tax credits is the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Berkshire Bank building in Manchester, VT. This building, a prominent historic anchor for the village corridor, has been lying vacant for years.

The $1,579,810 project, which is getting $112,500 in tax credits, aims to convert the Berkshire Bank building into a mixed-use development with housing above the retail space at the street level. The community is expecting to project economic growth outwards from the commercial core with the help of this project.

The Vermont House, a historic property in downtown Wilmington, VT, had been welcoming guests as a tavern and inn since 1864. However, it has been vacant for the last three years. This $950,000 rehabilitation project, which is getting $78,235 in tax credits, will provide tourist accommodations with 13 guest rooms within walking distance of Wilmington’s shops and restaurants.

The State also announced a sales tax reallocation for the City of Burlington to support infrastructure projects related to the construction of a new Hilton Garden Hotel. It is part of an ongoing development linking Burlington’s waterfront to other parts of the city. This $34 million project, which is getting a sales tax reallocation of $327,783, is expected to create 130 jobs.

Almost 150 community centers that are designated downtowns and villages in Vermont receive priority consideration for state grants and access to tax incentives.

Here’s the full list (pdf) of these latest projects that have been awarded tax incentives.

Intel Corp Reaches $100B Investment Agreement for Hillsboro, Oregon Operations

Intel Corporation, the City of Hillsboro and Washington County in Oregon announced that they have reached a proposed agreement under which Intel will invest up to $100 billion in the county.

Ronler Acres Intel site in Hillsboro, OR

Ronler Acres Intel site in Hillsboro, OR (photo – M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia)

The announcement was made after months of negotiations resulted in an agreement under Oregon’s public-private Strategic Investment Program (SIP).

Intel’s investment is focused on the need to replace machinery and equipment that becomes obsolete every few years as the technology advances, and on retaining the company’s 17,500 employees working in Washington County.

Under the proposed agreement, Intel would be required to make payments separately as required under state law and additional fees negotiated locally. Intel’s statutorily required payments would add up to $122 million in taxes and fees over the agreement period, with additional fees working out to another $228 million. The exact amount will vary depending on how much Intel invests and when.

This is the fifth SIP agreement Intel has agreed to since the program was authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1993. The first two agreements in 1994 allowed Intel to invest up to $3.4 billion, followed by another agreement in 1999 for $12.5 billion, and a 2005 agreement for up to $25 billion.

These agreements produce partial property tax savings for Intel’s massive investments in machinery and equipment, while securing their jobs in the county over the long-term.

Since the program’s inception, SIP agreements have generated $30 billion in investments in Washington County and created 18,000 jobs.

According to a study by consulting firm ECONorthwest, Intel’s economic impact (as of 2012) was pegged at $26.7 billion. Intel is the single largest private-sector employer in Oregon with an annual payroll of $2.8 billion. Furthermore, every Intel job creates another three jobs in the state. This ripple effect has created 68,000 jobs, which is about four percent of the state’s workforce.

The 2014 SIP agreement (pdf file) allows for a proposed $100 billion investment that will be divided into multiple 15-year investment packages that may occur over a 30-year period.

In order to reach this agreement with Intel, the Governor’s Office and Oregon economic development agency Business Oregon collaborated with the City of Hillsboro and Washington County.

“This historic investment makes our state a global leader in high tech manufacturing and is proof positive that Oregon is fertile soil for business to grow and families to prosper,” said Governor John Kitzhaber.

Neil Tunmore, Intel vice president and director of corporate services, said that in an increasingly competitive global business environment, they are pleased that the City of Hillsboro, Washington County and the State of Oregon continue to provide the right place for Intel to invest.

Washington County Commissioner Roy Rogers represented the County Board in the negotiations with Intel. Commissioner Rogers said that by continuing the success of past agreements, they are gaining important resources for supporting public services, and will be able to retain thousands of jobs in Oregon at a critical point in the economic recovery.

Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey said their position as a global center for high-tech manufacturing jobs is strengthened by Intel’s decision to increase its investment in Hillsboro.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pump $55M Into NY State Economy

Long before it became an on-screen hit, the latest installment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a big hit all over New York State.

Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun at advance TMNT screening

Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun at advance TMNT screening (photo – NY State Film Office)

The benefits of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies’ production of TMNT were felt all over New York during the 70 days of filming.

According to the MPAA, the production spent more than $55 million on local goods and services, salaries and state taxes. Salaries for NY labor alone added up to $30 million, and the production paid $3.2 million in taxes to the state.

They put 1,500 New York residents to work for more than 12,000 man-days. The filming was spread over the state’s diverse geography, from the skyscrapers in downtown Manhattan to the climatic action sequences in the Adirondacks.
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Academy Sports + Outdoors to open $100M Distribution Center With 700 Jobs in Tennessee

Academy, Ltd. (d/b/a Academy Sports + Outdoors) announced plans to open a new distribution center in Cookeville, TN.

Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy Sports + Outdoors (photo – academy.com)

The company will invest at least $100 million into the project, and expects to create 700 new jobs in Cookeville and Putnam County over the next five years.

Construction will begin later this month on the 1.6 million-square-foot distribution center. They expect to begin hiring associates for open positions by fall next year, and the distribution center will be operational by early 2016.

This will be their third distribution center, adding to the existing ones in Katy, TX and Jeffersonville, GA.

The company’s CEO and president Rodney Faldyn said the distribution center will support their long-term growth and continued expansion while enabling them to provide customers with quicker access to their favorite sports, lifestyle and outdoor products.
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New Mexico FundIt Federal-State Partnership Offers One-Stop Funding for Community Projects

New Mexico has launched a program called FundIt that brings together state and federal agencies with local officials in order to help communities in the state get complete funding for their projects.

Gov. Martinez announcing NM FundIt program

Gov. Martinez announcing NM FundIt program (photo – NMEDD)

This one-stop funding program provides a centralized location to obtain financing from start to completion for projects that will help with their job creation efforts and assist small business development.

Communities undertaking infrastructure projects will be able to vet their project in front of multiple state and federal infrastructure funding agencies simultaneously.

The federal and state agencies that are participating in the FundIt program will work together to analyze and compare proposals such as downtown revitalization, industrial parks, business incubators, housing projects and infrastructure development.

Federal agencies including the SBA, USDA and HUD will coordinate funding for FundIt projects with the New Mexico Departments of Transportation, Environment, Finance and Administration, the Mortgage Finance Authority and the NM Finance Authority.

Projects will also be submitted by the Council of Governments (COGs), the NM MainStreet program and regional representatives of the NM Economic Development Department.

The plan to create this one-stop funding group came from the New Mexico Rural Economic Development Council, which was restored to assist smaller communities in the state improve their economic development efforts.

This FundIt program is one of the components of New Mexico’s plan for “Rural Renaissance” and has been included as a part of the state’s five-year economic development strategic plan.

Announcing the program, Governor Susana Martinez said that it is important, especially for New Mexico’s rural communities, to be able to identify funding for projects that will help grow jobs and improve the quality of life for residents.

The Governor said they want to help by making the process more effective by bringing all the players in one place instead of making communities go to each agency separately for piecemeal financial support.

New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela said the FundIt initiative will save communities and small businesses time, helping them focus on creating jobs instead of navigating a maze of government agencies.

Indiana Hires Tech Policy Expert to Lead Nanotechnology Economic Development

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has hired semiconductor industry technology policy specialist Ian Steff to serve as a senior advisor in the fields of nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing.

Ian Steff, senior advisor, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing, IEDC

Ian Steff, senior advisor, Nanotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing, IEDC

Steff is coming to Indiana and the IEDC straight from his previous position in Washington, DC as vice president, Global Policy and Technology Partnerships, for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

The SIA is the U.S. semiconductor industry’s lead trade association. Steff worked closely with SIA’s Public Policy Committee, and assisted the SIA in the development of global strategies and coordination of Washington-based initiatives.

His portfolio also included university research partnerships and worldwide technology policy, and he was the SIA’s primary liaison to the World Semiconductor Council (WSC).

Before taking up this position at the SIA, Steff was manager for government affairs at Dewey and LeBoeuf LLP, where he handled the SIA’s policy advocacy issues. Steff also has experience working for Congress as a senior staff assistant for the House Ways and Means Committee.

Steff has a B.A. in International Studies from American University, and an M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy from George Washington University.

He also serves on the boards of many technology, semiconductor and microelectronics organizations and associations, including as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Information Technology Office (USITO).

As a senior advisor at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Steff will now be spearheading strategies for further developing the state’s existing nanotechnology industry and related advanced manufacturing initiatives.

Global sales of products built using nanotechnology components are estimated to reach $2.4 trillion by 2015. Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith said that nanotechnology is quickly becoming a major field internationally, and Indiana is positioned at the forefront of technological innovation.

Smith added that companies throughout the state are already making impressive use of nanotechnology, and the universities are leading advancements in this discipline.

Several Indiana companies such as Kokomo Semiconductors and Eli Lilly already use nanotechnology, and universities including Indiana University, Purdue and Notre Dame are leading internationally-recognized nanotechnology developments. Ivy Tech Community College has a nanotechnology program which trains students to work as technicians in this sector.

Steff said that Indiana with its 21st century workforce, attractive investment climate and competitive research infrastructure has positioned itself to succeed in this sector.

“I look forward to expanding existing partnerships and supporting new ones that will yield jobs and research opportunities statewide,” said Steff.

Pennsylvania Approves $14M Funding for BFTP Tech-based Economic Development

Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Partners program is getting $14 million in funding for providing technology-based economic development support for entrepreneurs and job creation.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Ben Franklin Technology Partners (photo – benfranklin.org)

The funding, approved by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), will be used by the four BFTP centers to provide operational assistance, entrepreneurial support and investment capital to emerging technology-based companies and existing small manufacturers who are creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP), an initiative of the BFTDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), is one of the longest-running and most successful technology-based economic development programs.

The program was won awards for excellence in tech-based economic development from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

BFTP has been supporting early-stage and established companies for more than 30 years since its inception in 1983, and provides a 3.5-to-1 return on investment for every state dollar invested.

A study of the economic impact of BFTP in Pennsylvania from 2007-2011 was released last year, and showed that BFTP boosted the Pennsylvania economy by $6.6 billion during this period. A total of $502 million in additional state tax receipts were generated through BFTP investments in client firms and related BFTP client services.

For this period from 2007-2011 covering the recession and high unemployment rates nationwide, the BFTPs helped client companies add 7,485 additional jobs. Client revenues, investments and purchasing helped create another 12,715 indirect and induced jobs across Pennsylvania, adding up to a total of 20,200 jobs that would not have been created in the absence of the BFTP program.

In 2013, the four BFTP centers helped client companies create a total of 1,365 jobs, retain another 951 jobs, and secure more than $468 million in additional financing for their projects.

Also in 2013, 98 new companies were formed, 118 patents and software copyrights awarded, and 318 new products and processes launched by the client companies, who reported generating a total of $412 million in sales revenues.

Governor Tom Corbett said the results of their investment in these four outstanding partners are impactful and the effect on Pennsylvania’s economy is transformational.

“Throughout Pennsylvania there are thousands of men and women working at family-sustaining jobs because of the Ben Franklin Program,” said Gov. Corbett.

University Economic Development Partnerships Help Orlando Secure NBIA HQ Relocation

The National Business Incubation Association is relocating its headquarters to the Central Florida Research Park in Orlando.

NBIA

NBIA (photo – orlandoedc.com)

NBIA announced that in addition to relocating their headquarters from Athens, OH to Orlando, they are also planning on establishing a new Global Training Center for Business Incubation and Innovation in Orlando.

The organization began the site selection process with a list of more than 30 cities as potential locations for the new headquarters. The final list was narrowed down to Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and Orlando.

NBIA Chairman of the Board and interim President and CEO Karl R. LaPan said they selected Orlando because of its reputation for being home to innovation and entrepreneurship, making it an ideal place for NBIA to expand their programs and enhance their mission.

LaPan added that the fact that the region’s business incubation systems are considered to be among the best in the world is the icing on the cake.

The Orlando Economic Development Commission, the City of Orlando and Orange County worked to secure the NBIA headquarters relocation in partnership with the University of Central Florida, National Entrepreneur Center, and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.

Orlando EDC President and CEO Rick Weddle said that NBIA’s decision to relocate their headquarters to Orlando is a great opportunity for the whole community. Weddle added that it will benefit small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups and UCF’s currently established incubation program.

University of Central Florida, an NBIA member, has its own business incubation program (UCFBIP) that won NBIA awards for its incubation network last year as well as this year.

Tom O’Neal, executive director of the UCFBIP and incoming chairman-elect of the NBIA, said the NBIA’s relocation to Orlando puts the region in the forefront of innovation-related activity in the world.

UCFBIP, which has eight facilities in the region, is an economic development partnership between UCF, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) and the region’s counties and cities.

FHTCC is in turn a partnership involving more than 20 local and regional economic development organizations, 14 state and community colleges, and 10 workforce boards. Their mission is to grow high tech innovation and industry through partnerships that provide support for entrepreneurship, research, workforce and marketing.

Randy Berridge, president of the FHTCC, noted that the region’s cutting-edge commitment to entrepreneurs, including the GrowFL economic gardening programs and some of the nation’s finest incubators, make it the perfect stage for NBIA to promote this kind of activity around the world.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said that NBIA’s relocation to Orange County is a perfect fit for the County’s focus on creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow jobs.

Apex Technology Building New Corporate HQ in Jacksonville, Florida

Jax Apex Technology, Inc. is planning to build a new corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida and expand its operations in the new location.

Apex Technology

Apex Technology (photo – apextechnology.cc)

The company will be making a capital investment of $5.4 million to build and equip the new headquarters on a site in Jacksonville that has not yet been finalized.

Apex Technology already has 27 employees in Jacksonville, and plans to create another 60 new full-time jobs over the next five years with an average annual salary of $56,750.

Barry Dixon, vice president of Jax Apex Technology, Inc., thanked the Jacksonville Economic Development Office, JAXUSA Partnership and Enterprise Florida for their support in bringing the project to fruition.

Dixon said the incentives negotiated with the City and State were vital to their decision, and they are now looking forward to these incentives being approved so that the company can start bringing the new jobs to Jacksonville.

Apex Technology is being offered $180,000 in Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refunds, with the City paying $36,000 as a local match for the $144,000 in state incentives.

The JAXUSA Partnership is the JAX Chamber’s economic development arm. JAXUSA President Jerry Mallot noted that this is not only a terrific announcement for a local company headquartered in Northeast Florida, but also a sign that the economy is turning around.

Apex Technology was founded in Jacksonville, and is now a subsidiary of Belit, Inc. They provide engineering services for structural systems in construction projects. Apex Technology currently serves customers in 14 states and the Caribbean. Apart from Jacksonville, the company also has an office in Tampa, FL and another Mid-Atlantic office in Frederick, MD.

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said this was a great example of a successful, hometown company investing in Jacksonville and adding good-paying career jobs in the engineering field.

The City will be filing legislation with the Jacksonville City Council seeking support for the Apex Technology project.

The Jacksonville City Council will also be looking at incentives for another much bigger project that could bring 500 new jobs and up to $91 million in capital investment. The name of the Fortune 500 company behind this advanced manufacturing project is being kept a secret, and it has only been identified as “Project Speed.”

The company would create at least 500 jobs over the next three years. They are seeking $15.4 million in local and state economic development incentives.

Wisconsin’s $1M Economic Development Program for Commercializing High-Tech Innovation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has launched a $1 million program to support commercialization of high-tech innovation by entrepreneurs and early-stage startups.

SBIR Advance

SBIR Advance (photo – uwex.edu)

The SBIR Advance program is administered by the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) at the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

“This is a tool that will help young, innovative companies with the assistance they need to bring their products from conception to market,” said Governor Scott Walker.

Funding from this program will assist startups and small businesses in Wisconsin that are recipients of federal grants under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The SBIR and STTR programs, which provide $2 billion in federal research funding each year, were created to stimulate high-tech innovation.

As the SBIR Advance administrator, CTC can provide an SBIR/STTR Phase 1 federal grant recipient a matching grant of up to $75,000, and Phase 2 recipients with a matching grant of up to $250,000.

The SBIR Advance program is being launched by the WEDC as a component of the Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative, which is aimed at removing barriers to high-tech commercialization. This is a public-private partnership effort involving the WEDC, business leaders throughout the state, and the UW system.

As a part of the S3 initiative, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing operational and financial assistance programs that are specifically designed to address seed-funding and other business startup challenges in Wisconsin.

Ideadvance, a seed fund that is one of the other initiatives under S3, is also managed by CTC and is a collaborative effort involving the UW System and WEDC.

The SBIR Advance program has been linked with Ideadvance, so that participants seeking funding from SBIR Advance will be joining Ideadvance cohorts to receive Lean Startup training.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary and CEO Reed Hall noted that SBIR Advance will provide funding upon participants completing key milestones, such as the Lean Startup training, which significantly accelerate business development.

CTC is accepting online pre-submission applications until Aug 8 from those who would like to participate in the the SBIR Advance program and join the September Lean Startup training cohort. Those who miss this deadline can apply afterwards for the next cohort.

CTC also offers no-cost evaluations and other resources to assist startups seeking federal funding under the SBIR/STTR programs.

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