New York Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

For a list of New York economic development agencies that can help with the site selection process, visit our Online Site Seekers’ Guide.

To find out more about New York State’s new START-UP NY incentive, read:

World Trade Center Job Creation & Retention Program (JCRP):
Encourages companies to commit to creating a minimum of 75 new jobs, or retaining at least 200 jobs, in Lower Manhattan.


Cash Incentives:
New York State offers low-cost loans and grants to companies that invest significant capital in the State and commit to the creation and retention of private sector jobs. Terms can be customized to each project; other criteria apply.
Regional Economic Development Councils:
Governor Cuomo’s new Regional Councils represent a fundamental shift in New York State’s approach to economic development, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that empowers regions to set their own development priorities. Each Regional Council, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and made up of local industry, academic, and community leaders, will create a plan for the development of their region. Through a new Consolidated Funding Application that combines resources from dozens of existing programs, the Councils will apply for $1 billion in state funding for projects they determine to be part of their regional strategies. To learn more about the Regional Councils, please visit
Commercial District Revolving Loan Trust Funds:
ESD has capitalized over $600,000, making funds available to five community-based corporations to administer and make loans to small retail and service businesses in their service areas. The two primary forms of assistance are:
  • Working capital loans of up to $15,000 for up to five years. Loans may be used for, but not limited to: upgrading display lighting; advertising and promotion; payroll for additional staff and training; purchase of computers to enhance inventory control; and the purchase of display cabinets, furniture and fixtures.
  • Fixed asset loans of up to $20,000 for terms not to exceed seven years. Loans may be used for, but not limited to: acquisition or improvement of real property, including interior improvements and remodeling, building façade improvements and signage.

Eligible applicants include for-profit retail, professional or commercial service businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, located within the specific service delivery area served by the administering corporation.

Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program (CDFI):
Provides micro-loans to businesses who often do not qualify for bank loans, as well as one-on-one counseling and business development assistance to facilitate credit-readiness.
Economic Development Fund (EDF):
Offers financial assistance for projects that promote the economic health of New York State by facilitating the creation and or retention of jobs or the increase of business activity in the State. EDF funds assist with construction, expansion and rehabilitation of facilities; acquisition of machinery and equipment; working capital; and the training of full-time permanent employees.
Industrial Effectiveness Program (IEP):
To provide technical and financial assistance to help New York State manufacturing firms address competitiveness issues that increase productivity, efficiency and market share. The award evaluation will be based on demonstrated need, company size, willingness to share costs of technical expertise and contribute resources, involvement of employees and commitment to self-improvement. The maximum award is a $50,000 grant.
Job Development Authority (JDA) Direct Loan Program:
Provides Direct Loans for the growth of manufacturing and other eligible businesses within New York State by assisting in financing a portion of the cost of acquiring and renovating existing buildings or constructing new buildings (“Real Estate” projects) or for purchasing machinery and equipment (“M&E” projects). Funds to make Loans are derived from the sale of State-guaranteed bonds.
  • In most cases, JDA Loans can be for up to 40% of the total project cost of Real Estate projects or M&E projects. Loans may be up to 60% for projects located in Empire Zones or economically distressed area.
  • The combination of a bank loan and a JDA Loan allows up to 90% financing of a project.
Jobs Now:
Offers financial assistance for major business expansion and attraction efforts that will create or attract significant numbers of permanent, full time private sector jobs in New York State. It is primarily directed toward large projects that create a minimum of 300 new full-time jobs. ESD may provide assistance for projects that create fewer than 300, but at least 100 new, permanent, full-time, private sector jobs, within the State.

Funding assists businesses with construction and expansion of facilities; acquisition of machinery and equipment; to offset a portion of state and local taxes incurred by the expansion; and the recruitment, hiring and training of full-time permanent employees.

Minority and Women-Owned Business (MWBE) Development & Lending Program:
Provides financial assistance to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) in the State, as well as to projects and programs that assist the development of entrepreneurship among minority persons and women in New York State. Assistance is offered through:
  • Lending in conjunction with local, community and regionally-based entities
  • Lending for certified government contractors and eligible government contractors
  • Direct financial assistance
  • Incubator assistance
  • Technical assistance
Transportation Capital Assistance Program:
ESD administers this loan program for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). It provides government contractor working capital loans to small business enterprises and NYS-certified minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) that have transportation-related construction contracts with NYSDOT or who are subcontractors of contractors having transportation-related contracts with NYSDOT. The program offers loans from $20,000 to $500,000, with a prime interest rate fixed at closing. Contractors that have been awarded a contract but have not yet begun work on the contract are eligible. Applications are accepted continuously.
Minority and Women-Owned Business (MWBE) Development & Lending Program:
To provide financial assistance to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) in the State, as well as to projects and programs that assist the development of entrepreneurship among minority persons and women in New York State. The program provides financial assistance through:
  • Lending in conjunction with local, community and regionally-based entities
  • Lending for certified government contractors and eligible government contractors
  • Direct financial assistance
  • Incubator assistance
  • Technical assistance

Tax Incentives

Emerging Technologies:
New York State has enacted tax incentives for: investors in Qualified Emerging Technology Companies (QETCs); job creation by QETCs; and R&D investment, R&D expenses and qualified high technology training costs incurred by QETCs.
Investment Tax Credit (ITC):
Businesses that create new jobs and make new investments in production property and equipment may qualify for tax credits of up to 10% of their eligible investment. New businesses may elect to receive a refund of certain credits and all unused credits can be carried forward for 15 years.
Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit:
Investments in R&D facilities are eligible for a 9% corporate tax credit. Additional credits are available to encourage the creation and expansion of emerging technology businesses, including a three-year job creation credit of $1,000 per employee and a capital credit for investments in emerging technologies.
Excelsior Jobs Program:
Governor Cuomo’s 2011-2012 Executive Budget revised the Excelsior Jobs Program to produce better results for New York’s strategic industries through enhanced tax credits, an extended tax benefit period, discounted gas or electric rates from utilities, and increased responsiveness and transparency. The Program provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in such targeted industries as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean-technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. Firms in these industries that create and maintain new jobs or make significant financial investment are eligible to apply for up to four new tax credits. Excelsior encourages businesses to expand in and relocate to New York while maintaining strict accountability standards to guarantee that businesses deliver on job and investment commitments. Program costs are capped at $500 million annually to maintain fiscal affordability and ensure that New Yorkers realize a positive return on their investment. To learn more about the Excelsior Jobs Program, please visit
New Markets Tax Credit:
Program that subsidizes long-term capital investment in order to foster job creation and community development in Low-Income Communities throughout New York State. Empire State Development (ESD) has available interest-only loans at below-market rates, a portion of which may be forgiven upon maturity.
New York State Film Production Credit Program:
Established to attract and grow the film and television production industries throughout New York State (NYS). It offers a fully refundable 30% tax credit on qualified production costs incurred in NYS and is funded at $420 million per year for each of the calendar years 2010-2014. Eligible productions include:
  • Feature films
  • Episodic television series
  • Television pilots and presentations
  • Television movies and miniseries
New York State Film Post Production Credit Program:
Created to support and grow the post production industry in New York State. Many projects, whose location shooting was done elsewhere, will take advantage of New York’s abundant post-houses and bring the project to NYS for their post production work. Up to $7 million per year for calendar years 2010-2014 inclusive will be available. This program is entirely separate from the New York State Film Production Credit program, and applicants to that program may NOT apply to both programs for the same project. The NYS Post Production credit is a fully refundable 10% tax credit on qualified post production costs paid in the production of a qualified film at a qualified post production facility in New York State. There are no per-project caps, and there is rollover in the annual $7 million allocation going forward until 2014.

Workforce Development

Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP):
Establishes Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers in local communities to provide instruction, training, technical assistance and support services to individuals who have recently started their own business or are interested in starting a business.

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