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Minnesota Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

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Trade Zones

Foreign Trade Zones: These are commerce sites (industrial sites, buildings) set up in or near U.S. Customs ports of entry where merchandise is considered legally outside U.S. Customs territory. The zones are operated as public utilities by states, port authorities, other political groups or corporations charted by the state. Companies can use foreign trade zones to reduce duty payments, streamline supply chain costs and improve competitive position in domestic and foreign markets. There are eight General Purpose Zone sites in Minnesota: six in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, one in Duluth and one in International Falls. 

Business Financing 

State Small Business Credit Initiative: This initiative uses federal funding to stimulate private sector lending and improve access to capital for small businesses and manufacturers that are creditworthy but not getting loans they need to expand and create jobs. It allocates up to $15.4 million into the following four state programs:

Capital Access Program: Banks, credit unions and community development finance institutions operating in Minnesota are encouraged to make loans that fall just outside the lenders’ normal underwriting standards. The program provides insurance based on a reserve account funded by the borrower, lender and the state. A participating lender may use money in the reserve account to cover some or all of the losses it might experience if an enrolled loan is not fully paid. The lender and borrower contribute, in equal parts, a combined 3 to 7 percent of the loan amount to the reserve fund. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) matches the combined contribution. The lender may make a loan of up to $5 million. Each qualified program lender has the authority to determine interest rates, terms and collateral requirements.

Minnesota businesses that have up to 500 employees are eligible. Lenders must be qualified for the program by DEED to participate.

Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF): The fund primarily supports microenterprises and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, focusing on minority- and women-owned businesses and those located in economically distressed areas. EEF helps provide loans to eligible businesses through qualified program lenders. Program funds may total up to $150,000 per loan and must be matched by a private source with at least a 1-to-1 match. Participating lenders are encouraged to structure loan proposals so that EEF funds are matched by a private source with a 1-to-5 match. Each qualified program lender has authority to determine interest rates and collateral requirements within program guidelines.

Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for the program. Lenders must be qualified by DEED to participate.

Small Business Loan Guarantees: This program uses federal funding to stimulate private sector lending and improve access to capital for small businesses and manufacturers that are creditworthy but not getting loans they need to expand and create jobs.

Eligible loan applicants are businesses with no more than 500 employees company-wide. Funds may be used for construction; remodeling or renovation; leasehold improvements; purchase of land, buildings, machinery and equipment; maintenance or repair; expenses related to moving into or within Minnesota; and working capital (if secured by fixed assets). The program guarantees up to 70 percent of a loan made by nontraditional lenders like community development financial institutions, certified development companies and other nonprofit lenders to help increase small business access to credit.

Angel Loan Fund (ALF): The program offers an additional funding option for businesses that are certified to participate in Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit Program. The program provides a direct loan for 10 percent of the total amount of new equity investment that the business raises from one or more investors. Only one loan may be issued to each business. At least one equity investment must be made by an investor that is both certified by the Minnesota Angel Tax Credit Program and qualified as an accredited investor per the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The maximum loan cannot be more than $250,000; the minimum loan available is $20,000. ALF provides loans at zero-percent interest and a seven-year term. Payments are deferred, with a balloon payment in seven years. If the business is sold during the term, the business will submit risk mitigation fee compensation equal to 30 percent of the original loan principal.

Businesses certified to participate in the Angel Tax Credit Program during any of the program years with fewer than 500 employees are eligible applicants. Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit Program provides a 25 percent credit to investors or investment funds that put money into startup companies focused on high technology or new proprietary technology.

Minnesota Minerals 21st Century Fund: This program makes loans or equity investments in innovative mineral processing facilities, such as taconite processing, direct reduction processing and steel production. Loans or equity investments from the fund require matching investments from facility owners. For facilities in the state’s taconite tax relief area, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board may match the fund’s investment.

Owners of innovative mineral processing facilities are eligible. 

Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program: This program provides loans to companies that are affected when certain employees are called to active military duty. It also gives loans to individual veterans who have returned from active duty and want to start their own businesses. The program provides one-time, interest-free loans of $5,000 to $20,000.

Business loans are for existing small businesses that have an essential employee called to active service in the military reserves for 180 days or longer on or after Sept. 11, 2001. The business must be injured substantially due to the employee’s absence. Startup loans are for veterans who were on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and are seeking financial assistance to start their own businesses.

Tourism Business Septic Tank Replacement: This program makes low-interest financing available to existing tourism-related businesses that provide overnight lodging and need to replace a failed septic system. Loans in cooperation with financial institutions can be made for up to 50 percent of the total cost of the project.

Corporations, sole proprietorships or partnerships engaged in an existing tourism-related business that provides overnight lodging are eligible, including resorts, bed and breakfast inns, hotels, motels, ski lodges, campgrounds and recreational vehicle trailer parks. Projects that replace an existing septic system that has failed are eligible. However, project costs incurred more than 30 days before submission of a completed application are ineligible.

Minnesota Investment Fund: The fund provides grants to help add new workers and retain high-quality jobs on a statewide basis. The focus is on industrial, manufacturing and technology-related industries to increase the local and state tax base and improve economic vitality statewide. Funds are awarded to local units of government, which then provide loans to assist expanding businesses. Cities, counties, townships and recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible for this fund.

All projects must meet minimum criteria for private investment, number of jobs created or retained, and wages paid. Only one award per state fiscal year may be provided to a government unit. At least 50 percent of total project costs must be privately financed through owner equity and other lending sources. Terms are for a maximum of 20 years for real estate and a maximum of 10 years for machinery and equipment. Interest rates are negotiated.

Minnesota Job Creation Fund: This new program provides financial incentives to new and expanding businesses that meet certain job creation and capital investment targets. Companies deemed eligible to participate may receive up to $1 million for creating or retaining high-paying jobs and for constructing or renovating facilities or making other property improvements. In some cases, companies may receive awards of up to $2 million.

The program is available to businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, technology-related industries and other eligible activities. Companies must work with the local government (city, county or township) where a project is located to apply to DEED to receive designation as a Job Creation Fund business. Approved businesses must invest at least $500,000 in real property improvements within one year of becoming a designated Job Creation Fund business and create at least 10 new full-time permanent jobs within two years of becoming a Job Creation Fund business, while maintaining existing employment numbers.

Small Business Development Loan Program: Loans are available for business expansions that result in the creation of new jobs. Small business loans of up to $5 million are made by the Minnesota Agricultural and Economic Development Board through the issuance of industrial development bonds

Eligible companies must be located or intending to locate in Minnesota, have manufacturing and industrial operations, and meet the federal definition of a small business (500 or fewer employees).

Urban Initiative Loan Program: The program was created to support the growth of minority-owned and operated businesses and to create jobs in economically distressed areas of the Twin Cities. DEED provides grants to a network of nonprofit lenders, which use those funds for loans to startup and expanding businesses. Startup and expansion costs, including normal expenses such as machinery and equipment, inventory and receivables, working capital, new construction, renovation and site acquisition, are eligible for the program.

Businesses eligible for loans include technologically innovative industries, value-added manufacturing and information industries. Each project must demonstrate potential to create jobs for low-income people, be unable to obtain sufficient capital from traditional private lenders, and demonstrate the potential to succeed. Businesses must be located in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Columbia Heights, Coates, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Lauderdale, Lexington, Mendota, Miesville, New Germany, New Brighton, New Hope, Newport, Richfield, Spring Lake Park, South St. Paul and West St. Paul. Micro enterprises, including retail businesses, may apply for up to $25,000. Businesses that are seeking more than $25,000 will be required to find private financing to match the state’s investment. The maximum Urban Initiative investment in any one business is $150,000.

Indian Business Loan Program: The program supports the development of Indian-owned and operated businesses and promotes economic opportunities for Indian people throughout Minnesota. DEED evaluates all applications and forwards a recommendation to the appropriate tribal council for final consideration. The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe has authority to use program funds to make loans to businesses owned and operated by an enrolled member of its six participating bands – Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and White Earth.

Applicants must be enrolled members of a federally recognized Minnesota-based band or tribe. Businesses must be wholly owned by an enrolled member and can be located anywhere in the state, although the bulk of the loans are made to businesses on a reservation. Loan proceeds may cover startup and expansion costs, including normal expenses such as machinery and equipment, inventory and receivables, working capital, new construction, renovation and site acquisition. The interest rate may be between 2 percent and 10 percent. Terms for real estate purposes are limited to no more than 20 years. Non-real estate loans are limited to no more than 10 years. Loans may not exceed 75 percent of project costs or the balance of the funds available to any one tribe. Owners must provide a portion of the financing needed to undertake the project. The amount varies from 5 percent to 10 percent, depending upon the requirements of each band or tribe.

Innovation Voucher Pilot Program: DEED is developing the Innovation Voucher Pilot Program for businesses with fewer than 40 employees. The program provides financing to purchase technical assistance and services from public higher education institutions and nonprofit entities. The goal of the program is to assist in the development or commercialization of innovative new products or services.

Funds available under this section may be used by a small business to access technical assistance and other services such as research, technical development, product development, commercialization, technology exploration and improved business practices. Up to $25,000 is available per business. Vouchers require a 50 percent match by recipients.

Growth Acceleration Program: The program provides consulting services to help small manufacturers that employ up to 100 workers become more efficient, more competitive, and more likely to thrive and grow. The program provides grants of up to $50,000, which must be matched dollar-for-dollar by participating companies.

Local Energy Improvements Financing Program: Low-interest loans are available to building owners who want to make their properties more energy-efficient. Open to qualified residential, commercial and industrial property owners in Minnesota, the program is funded through revenue bonds issued by participating local governments. Building owners pay back the loans through a special tax assessment that may not exceed 20 years. The energy improvements can be any permanent change to a building that leads to a net reduction in energy consumption without altering the principal source of energy. Installing renewable energy systems such as solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind or geothermal also will qualify for loans under this program

Federal Rural Development Financing Renewable Energy Program: Loans, loan guarantees and grants are available to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. Rural is defined as an area of fewer than 50,000 people or its immediately adjacent incorporated communities. Renewable energy means energy derived from wind, solar, biomass or a geothermal source; or hydrogen derived from biomass or water using one of those energy sources. It does not include hydropower.

Value-Added Producer Grants: Grants help producers expand their customer base by entering into emerging markets for their products or commodities and ensure that a greater portion of the revenue derived from the value-added activity is available to the producer. Independent producers, farmer-owned cooperatives, agricultural producer groups and majority-controlled producer-based groups are eligible to apply. Four categories are considered value-added under this program:

  • Ventures in which agricultural producers add value to their products by changing the physical state or form of the product (processing wheat into flour, corn into ethanol, slaughtering livestock)
  • Producing products in a manner that enhances its value (organic)
  • Physical segregation of an agricultural commodity or product in a manner that enhances the value of that product
  • Any agricultural commodity or product that is used to produce renewable energy on a farm or ranch (methane digesters, wind turbines)

Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program: These are loan guarantees with an upper limit of $10 million. Some high-priority projects may be guaranteed up to $25 million by the administrator in Washington. Most business purposes are eligible, such as building and equipment purchase or development; working capital (no lines of credit); aquaculture; commercial nurseries; tourist and recreation facilities (except golf courses); hotels and motels; community facility-type projects; facilities for lease to private businesses; and housing development sites.

Eligible borrowers generally may be an individual, cooperative, corporation, partnership, nonprofit corporation, Indian tribes or public body. Applications are made by the lender and business to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rates and terms are negotiated between lender and borrower. A minimum of 20 percent tangible balance sheet equity is required on a new business and 10 percent on an existing business.

Intermediary Relending Program: Loans are provided to an entity (intermediary) to establish a revolving loan fund to relend to eligible ultimate recipients (businesses) at reasonable rates and terms. Eligible intermediaries are private nonprofit corporations, any state or local government, an Indian tribe or a cooperative. Program funds can be used to finance business facilities and community development projects in rural areas, innovative projects, land, building construction or repair, equipment, working capital, interest, feasibility studies and fees for professional services. Ultimate recipients must be located in a rural area of fewer than 25,000 people.

Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program: This new program promotes the expansion of access to broadband service in unserved and underserved areas of the state. Grants will be awarded for last mile or middle mile broadband infrastructure acquisition and installation. The infrastructure deployed through the project must be scalable to broadband speeds of at least 100 megabits per second download and upload. A grant awarded to a single project may not be for more than 50 percent of the project cost and not exceed $5 million.

Eligible applicants may include an incorporated business or partnership, a political subdivision, an Indian tribe, a Minnesota nonprofit organized under state law, or a Minnesota limited liability corporation organized under state law for the purpose of expanding broadband access.

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program: This program provides financing to develop projects that will result in a sustainable increase in economic productivity, job creation, and incomes in rural areas. Eligible borrowers (or grantees) of this program are current or prepaid Rural Utility Service electric and telephone borrowers. Funds are either a zero-interest loan or a grant to the utility, which in turn re-loans the money at zero-percent interest to the eligible business for a specific project.

Grant funds must be matched 20 percent up-front by the borrower utility company. Grant funds will be used initially as a zero-interest revolving loan for community development assistance to nonprofit entities and public bodies; business incubators established by nonprofits; and facilities and equipment for education, training or medical care of rural residents owned by public, for profit and nonprofit entities. Projects may include business startups and expansions, community development, incubator projects, medical and training projects, and feasibility studies. Funds from other sources must equal at least 20 percent of the loan amount.

Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program: Applicants are public bodies, nonprofit associations and Indian tribes. The purpose of the grant is to assist in financing and developing small and emerging private businesses. Funds can be used for a revolving loan program to provide financing to businesses that meet all of the following requirements:

  • 50 or fewer new employees
  • Less than $1 million in projected gross revenues
  • Use new processes
  • Use technological innovations and commercialization of new products that can be produced in rural areas

Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program: Grant funds may be used to assist in the economic development of rural areas by providing technical assistance for business development and economic development planning. Grant requests are limited to $50,000 per state. Grants may be used to:

  • Identify and analyze business opportunities that will use local rural materials or human resources
  • Identify, train and provide technical assistance to existing or prospective rural entrepreneurs and managers
  • Establish business support centers and otherwise assist in the creation of new rural businesses
  • Conduct local community or multi-county economic development planning
  • Establish centers for training, technology and trade that will help rural businesses use interactive communications technologies to develop international trade opportunities and markets
  • Conduct leadership development training of existing or prospective rural entrepreneurs and managers
  • Pay reasonable fees and charges for professional services necessary to conduct the technical assistance, training or planning functions

Community Financing 

Infrastructure Programs: Minnesota supports industrial development and redevelopment through two programs:

  • The Greater Minnesota Public Infrastructure Program: The program provides grants to cities for up to 50 percent of the capital costs of industrial park development or other projects that will keep and enhance jobs, increase a city’s tax base, and expand or create new economic development.
  • The Innovative Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant Program: This program also provides grants to local units of government for up to 50 percent of the capital costs directly related to innovative businesses. Eligible projects are innovative business development capital improvement projects that may include manufacturing; technology; warehousing and distribution; research and development; innovative business incubator; agricultural bioprocessing; and industrial, office or research park development that is bioscience-related.

Transportation Economic Development Program (TED): TED is a competitive grant program available to communities for highway improvement and public infrastructure projects that create jobs and support economic development. TED may provide up to 70 percent of the costs for trunk highway interchanges and other improvements or the state’s share as determined by the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s cost participation policy, whichever is less. TED is a collaboration between DEED and the Department of Transportation. 

Eligible applicants must be governmental entities as defined by state law. Although private entities are not eligible, they may enter into agreements with eligible borrowers to request funding for eligible public transportation projects. Projects must support the manufacturing, technology, warehousing and distribution, research and development, agricultural processing, bioscience, or tourism and recreation industry.

Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grant Program: This program helps communities pay for assessing and cleaning up contaminated sites for redevelopment. The program assists development authorities in contamination investigations, cleanup of contamination and the development of response plans. Grants are awarded to sites where redevelopment is planned. Contamination cleanup grants pay for up to 75 percent of the costs of cleaning up contaminants (defined under state law) or petroleum contamination not eligible for reimbursement under Minnesota’s Petrofund.

Cities, port authorities, housing and redevelopment authorities, economic development authorities or counties are eligible. Both publicly- and privately-owned sites with known or suspected soil or groundwater contamination qualify.

Cleanup Revolving Loan Program: This program provides low-interest loans through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up contaminated sites that can be returned to marketable use. Loans may pay for contamination cleanup, related site sampling and monitoring, and costs associated with meeting requirements for public participation in project review.

Cities, counties, developers, economic development authorities, housing redevelopment authorities, port authorities, and for-profit and non-profit organizations are eligible. Applicants must own or demonstrate legal control of the site to be developed.

Demolition Loan Program: This program helps development authorities with the costs of demolishing blighted buildings on sites that have development potential but where no immediate development plans exist. The following terms apply:

  • Loans will be low-interest (2 percent).
  • Loans will be interest-free for the first two years.
  • Principal and interest payments will start in year three.
  • Loan terms cannot exceed 15 years.
  • If the site is developed, the remaining principal and interest (up to 50 percent of the loan) could be forgiven based on development benefits.

Eligible applicants are development authorities, including cities, counties, port authorities, housing and redevelopment authorities and economic development authorities.

Redevelopment Grant Program: This program helps communities with the costs of redeveloping blighted industrial, residential or commercial sites and putting land back into productive use. Grants pay up to half of redevelopment costs for a qualifying site, with a 50 percent local match. For additional qualifications, see DEED’s website.

Eligible applicants are cities, counties, port authorities, housing and redevelopment authorities, and economic development authorities. Grants can pay for land acquisition, demolition, infrastructure improvements, soil stabilization when infill is required, ponding, or other environmental infrastructure and adaptive reuse of buildings, including remedial activities. 

Small Cities Development Program: This program provides financial assistance to communities by supporting local economic development, including housing, public infrastructure and commercial rehabilitation projects. The maximum grant award for a Single Purpose project is $600,000. The maximum grant award for a Comprehensive Project is $1.4 million. The timeline to complete projects is normally 30 months, depending on project size and scope. DEED receives funding for the program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There are three categories of funds under the program: housing grants, public facility grants and comprehensive grants, which frequently include housing and public facility activities.

Cities with fewer than 50,000 residents and counties with fewer than 200,000 residents are eligible.

Tax Incentives

Data Center Sales Tax Exemptions: For qualified data centers, enterprise information technology equipment, electricity used in the operation of the center and computer software (refund) are exempt from sales taxes. A qualified data center is a facility in Minnesota that consists of at least 25,000 square feet. The total cost of construction or refurbishment, investment in information technology equipment and computer software must be at least $30 million within 48 months.

Tax-Free Development (JOBZ): The JOBZ program provides local and state tax exemptions to qualified companies that start up or expand in targeted areas of Greater Minnesota. There are 10 job zones comprising more than 29,000 acres in about 325 communities. Exemptions include corporate franchise taxes, income taxes for operators or investors, property taxes on commercial and industrial improvements (but not on land), and wind energy production taxes. In addition, employment tax credits are available for high-paying jobs.

Angel Tax Credit Program: This program provides tax incentives to investors or funds that invest in startup businesses that are primarily focused on high technology or new proprietary technology. Key features include a 25 percent tax credit for investments in small, emerging businesses and a maximum credit of $125,000 per person per year ($250,000 if married filing jointly). Some credits are reserved for investments in women-owned and minority-owned businesses and firms located outside the Twin Cities metro area.

Four types of businesses qualify for angel investments:

  • Those using proprietary technology to add value to a product, process or service in a qualified high-technology field
  • Those researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service in a qualified high-technology field
  • Those researching, developing or producing a new proprietary technology for use in agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing or transportation
  • Those researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service for use in agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing or transportation

 Research & Development Tax Credit: Companies that engage in certain research and development (R&D) activities in Minnesota may qualify for the Credit for Increasing Research Activities. The R&D credit is equal to 10 percent of qualifying expenses up to $2 million, and 2.5 percent for expenses above that level. Qualifying expenses are the same as for the federal R&D credit – defined in Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code – but must be for research done in Minnesota.

Border Cities Enterprise Zone Program: The Border-Cities Enterprise Zone Program provides business tax credits (property tax credits, debt financing credit on new construction, sales tax credit on construction equipment and materials, and new or existing employee credits) to qualifying businesses that are the source of investment, development, and job creation or retention in the western Minnesota cities of Breckenridge, Dilworth, East Grand Forks, Moorhead and Ortonville. 

Seed Capital Investment Credit Program: The SEED Capital Investment Program provides tax incentives for investing in innovative business located in the western Minnesota border cities of Breckenridge, Dilworth, East Grand Forks, Moorhead and Ortonville. Investors may receive a 45 percent tax credit on their investment, up to $112,500 per year. The credit is non-refundable and may be carried forward up to four years.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF): Cities, counties and development authorities may use tax increment financing to help finance costs of real estate development to encourage developers to construct buildings or other private improvements and to pay for public improvements, such as streets, sidewalks, sewer and water, and similar public infrastructure improvements that are related to the development.

Tax Abatement: Cities, counties and school districts may use tax abatement to help finance certain economically beneficial projects. Property taxes are forgiven for a period of time to allow the project to cash flow. Or the taxes are captured for a period of time and an up-front payment is made by the political subdivision to help the project cover startup costs.

Greater Minnesota Job Expansion Program: This tax refund program provides sales tax rebates to existing businesses in Greater Minnesota that are approved by DEED and meet job creation, wage levels and other eligibility requirements. Businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Have operated for at least one year in Greater Minnesota
  • Meet wage and compensation requirements
  • Add at least two employees or 10 percent of current staff, whichever is greater, within three years
  • Meet industry eligibility, including not being engaged in retail, gambling and entertainment, among other industries

Greater Minnesota Internship Tax Credit Program: Employers may claim a refund credit of up to $2,000 for each internship provided to an eligible student in Greater Minnesota. The credit is available for tax years beginning in 2014 or later. 

Students must attend a participating college or university, have completed 50 percent of the credits required to complete their program, and be employed as an intern in Greater Minnesota.

Employers must enter into an agreement with a participating college to employ an eligible student intern. Employers who are eligible to apply for the tax credit must meet certain other requirements and certify student interns will work under certain conditions and fulfill requirements.

Single Sales Factor Apportionment: Apportionment formulas determine how much of a business’s income is taxable in a state. Many states apportion corporate income using the in-state proportions of the corporation’s sales, payroll and property to determine corporate franchise tax. Minnesota uses only sales in-state to apportion corporate income. Single sales apportionment is beneficial to Minnesota businesses whose Minnesota sales factor is lower than the average of their Minnesota property and payroll factors. All other things being equal, increasing non-Minnesota sales will reduce the amount of Minnesota taxable income, since more income will be attributed to or apportioned outside of Minnesota.

Throwback: More than half of the states with corporate taxes also use “throwback rules” in defining the sales factor. Throwback rules treat sales to out-of-state buyers as in-state sales, if the buyer’s state cannot tax the business/seller or if the purchaser is a federal government agency. These “thrown-back” sales increase in-state sales factor and corporate tax, decreasing the benefits to the taxpayer of single sales apportionment. Minnesota does not have a throwback rule.

Capital Equipment Exemption: Beginning July 1, 2015, businesses that buy or lease qualifying capital equipment (machinery and equipment used in manufacturing) for use in Minnesota are eligible for an up-front exemption from Minnesota state and local sales or use. Until then, businesses must continue to pay sales tax and then request a refund from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Training Programs

Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership Program: The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) Board awards grants to educational institutions that partner with businesses to develop new-job training or retraining for existing employees. Targeted MJSP funds are directed to the Low-Income Worker Training Program, which helps low-income people receive training to acquire higher-paying jobs and economic self-sufficiency. Accredited Minnesota public and private educational institutions are eligible, with preference given to nonprofit institutions serving economically disadvantaged people, minorities or victims of economic dislocation, as well as businesses located in rural areas.

Pathways Program: The program focuses on providing training, new jobs and career paths for people who have incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or those who are making a transition from public assistance to work.

Projects must include at least one participating business and an accredited Minnesota educational institution or training provider. Grants of up to $400,000 per project may be awarded to develop and deliver training specific to business needs. Cash or in-kind contributions from each participating business must match program funds on at least a one-half-to-one ratio.

Eligible applicants include accredited Minnesota educational institutions and workforce development intermediaries partnering with businesses within the state. Workforce development intermediaries are defined as public, private or nonprofit entities that provide employment services to low-income individuals. A short-form application is available for grants of up to $50,000.

Job Training Incentive Pilot Program: This Minnesota Job Skills Partnership pilot program provides grants of up to $50,000 to new or expanding businesses for training new workers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Eligible businesses must have no more than 150 employees and must be expanding their full-time workforces by at least 10 percent, with a minimum of five new jobs that pay workers at least $12.45 in 2014 and $12.61 in 2015. The business should be engaged in manufacturing, warehouse, distributions, information technology, finance, insurance, or professional or technical services activities. Businesses in the retail, health clinics, lobbying, gambling, sports facilities and hospitality services industries are not eligible.

Low-Income Program: The Low-Income Worker Training Program helps workers whose incomes are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines gain new skills necessary to move up the career ladder to higher-paying jobs and greater economic self-sufficiency.

The program provides grants of up to $200,000 to Minnesota public, private or nonprofit entities that provide employment services to low-income people. No match from grant recipients is required. The goal of the program is to target short-term training for full-time employment in the growth sectors of the state’s economy.

Updated 1/8/15


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About The Author

Internet Director

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager. In September 2012, she transitioned to a new role dedicated to developing online content for Business Facilities and Today's Facility Manager (now Facility Executive). Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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