Welcome back for the second installment of this five-part series covering the top five things site selectors are requesting information about. The topics covered in this series are based on an actual review of prospect location factors conducted by GOED using 76 RFIs submitted between 2010 and July 1, 2013. In the first article I talked about Available Properties, next up is Local Incentives!
Providing local incentives can be beneficial to both the company and community. Companies looking to open, move, or expand their business in a new community are always looking for where they can get the most bang for their buck. Communities are also looking for how they can get companies to open, bringing jobs and consumers into their city or town.
There are several commonly used incentives, including (but not limited to):
- Property Tax Abatements for new construction
- Local Sales Tax Refunds on new equipment brought in for the project
- Workforce Development/Training Programs at free or reduced prices
- Free or Reduced Costs on Land or Buildings
- Tax Increment Financing
- Grant/Loan Programs
You can get creative in your incentives as well, and offer things such as:
- Relocation assistance with housing
- Helping to find work for a spouse
- Your local utility company might waive hook-up fees or offer free installation on energy efficient fixtures
- A local construction company could offer a discount on improvements to a building the company is purchasing
Whenever you are offering incentives you need to make sure you have board, city, or executive approval first so you aren’t providing false hope of a deal that is “too good to be true”. The ultimate goal behind incentives is to build a partnership that fulfills both the company’s and community’s wants and needs.
INCENTIVES IN RFIs
When listing local incentives in an RFI response, you need to make sure the project qualifies for the incentives/programs you are providing. If you have several programs and the company only qualifies for two of them, then only include those two in your response. Do however, make sure all incentives/programs are listed on your website. Remember, up to 90% of site selection takes place before you ever even speak to the prospect. You do not need to include specific dollar amounts in your RFI responses as those would be discussed in a personal meeting with the company representative. However, if there is a minimum or maximum amount allotted for a specific program you can include that online and in your RFI response so the company will know if they qualify before inquiring.