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Massachusetts Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

Visit Real Street's website to learn more about this event. The updated Massachusetts incentives guide is brought to you by Real Street Expo, a new event sponsored by Business Facilities and Today’s Facility Manager magazines.

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

Financing

Brownfields Redevelopment Fund :
Created in 1998 to encourage the reuse of Brownfields in Economically Distressed Areas (EDAs) throughout Massachusetts. Brownfields are vacant, abandoned or underutilized industrial or commercial properties where expansion, redevelopment or improvement is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination and liability. MassDevelopment administers the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund programs.
  • The Brownfields Site Assessment Program – Provides unsecured, interest free financing up to $100,000 for environmental assessment of Brownfields.
  • The Brownfields Remediation Loan Program – Provides flexible loans up to $500,000 for environmental cleanup of Brownfields.

When your site is ready for redevelopment, MassDevelopment can provide a real estate loan or tax-exempt bond to finance your project. The staff can also provide information on accessing other state, federal and private-sector assistance and identifying Licensed Site Professionals. As of April 12, 2013, the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is fully committed and not able to fund new requests. Please speak with a MassDevelopment representative about how we may be able to assist your project.

Green Loan Program :
Bridges the gap between energy efficiency project costs and the rebates or subsidies provided by utility companies and state/federal incentive programs. To be eligible, an organization must be a non-profit or for-profit business in Massachusetts that has been in existence for at least five years and demonstrates an ability to repay the loan.
  • Loans are available in the amounts of $50,000 to $500,000 and are net of project-related rebates or subsidies.
  • Loans may only be made for projects that receive approval for a utility rebate under a public utility sponsored energy efficient program authorized by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities or approval for a subsidy from a state/federal energy efficiency incentive.

Funds may be used for:

  • HVAC replacements or improvements
  • Windows, insulation, and other building improvements
  • Lighting
  • Energy control systems
  • Chillers and Boilers
  • Hot water heaters
  • Photovoltaic panels
Emerging Technology Fund (ETF):
Targets technology companies that are starting up or expanding manufacturing in Massachusetts by providing financing for manufacturing facilities and equipment. It offers loans or loan participations up to $2,500,000 and loan guarantees up to $1,000,000. Companies that receive ETF financing must have strong management teams, demonstrated technical feasibility, market demand for their products and a proven fundraising record. To qualify for ETF financing:
  • Borrower must be a technology company starting or expanding manufacturing operations in Massachusetts
  • Financing must be for the purchase, expansion or improvement of real estate, and/or the purchase of equipment
  • There must be at least two other parties at risk
  • Financial investment must benefit the Massachusetts economy
Community Service 501(C)(3) Loan Fund :
Flexible financing for capital improvements for community-based nonprofit organizations such as elder care centers, daycare facilities, community centers and girls’ and boys’ clubs. The fund will provide loans ranging from $100,000 up to $500,000. Eligible applicants must be registered as a Massachusetts-based 501(c)(3) organization; have an operating budget of less than $5 million for each of the last five years; provide social, youth or family services; primarily work in underserved or disadvantaged communities; and, be ineligible for financing under existing loan programs.
MA Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) :
An initiative of the Commonwealth to increase public and private investment in cultural facilities throughout the state. The Program is administered jointly with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and three types of grant programs are available:
  • Capital Grants for expenses related to acquisition, design, construction, repair, renovation and rehabilitation of other capital improvements or deferred maintenance of a cultural facility
  • Feasibility and Technical Assistance Grants for expenses related to planning and feasibility assessment for a cultural facility
  • Systems Replacement Grants for expenses to undertake the production of 20-year capital needs assessments of their buildings and mechanical systems

All Fund grants must be matched by contributions from the private or public sector and are available to:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations primarily engaged in the arts, humanities or interpretive sciences. Eligible facilities include, but are not limited to, museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, theaters, concert halls, exhibition spaces, classrooms and auditoriums, and must be owned, leased or used by one or more nonprofit cultural organizations and accessible to the public
  • Public/private institutions of higher education that own cultural facilities providing service and open access to the community and the general public beyond their educational mission and demonstrate financial need
  • Municipalities that own cultural facilities provided that the cultural facility is at least 50,000 square feet, and 50 percent devoted to cultural purposes
Small Farm Loan Program :
To help small farmers in Massachusetts finance projects that improve their operations and increase their income, MassDevelopment and The Carrot Project have teamed together to offer a small farm loan program that provides loans ranging from $3,000 to $35,000. Eligible farmers will own or lease farms in Massachusetts.
Tech Dollars :
MassDevelopment offers a special loan program to help non-profit 501(c) 3 organizations purchase and install technology equipment. TechDollars provides loans from $25,000 to $250,000 and 100% of cost of purchase of new or used telecommunications and IT equipment and installation costs. To be eligible, the borrower must be a Massachusetts 501(c) 3 organization and equipment purchased must be installed in facilities located in the state.

Tax Incentives

New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) :
Program was created specifically to stimulate investment in designated low-income communities. MassDevelopment assesses potential NMTC projects for both non-profit and for-profit businesses, including, but not limited to, community and health centers, retail and office space projects, performing arts centers, mixed-use projects and light industrial use centers.
Life Sciences Tax Incentive Program :
Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is pleased to announce that it is offering tax incentives to companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization and manufacturing in Massachusetts.
Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) :
A tax incentive program designed to foster job creation and stimulate business growth throughout the Commonwealth. Participating companies may receive state and local tax incentives in exchange for job creation, manufacturing job retention and private investment commitments.
Massachusetts Investment Tax Credit (ITC) :
Offers a 3% credit for qualifying businesses against their Massachusetts corporate excise tax.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) :
Massachusetts’ version of TIF allows municipalities to provide flexible targeted incentives to stimulate job-creating development.
R&D Tax Credit :
Massachusetts offers a tax incentive for research and development investment for both manufacturers and R&D companies. This tax incentive was designed to remove any obstacles to R&D investment and spur growth and innovation throughout the Commonwealth.
Investment Tax Credit (ITC) :
Offers a 3% credit for qualifying businesses against their Massachusetts corporate excise tax. The credit is to be used for the purchase and lease of qualified tangible property used in the course of doing business. The ITC can reduce the cost of expansion, includes a carry forward provision and is considered a permanent incentive.
Single Sales Factor :
Tax apportionment that significantly reduces the tax burden for manufacturers and other qualifying companies and may apply to the following types of companies that have multi-state tax filings:
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Qualifying defense contractors
  • Qualifying financial service providers

Workforce Development

Workforce Training Fund (WTF):
Provides grants up to $250,000 to upgrade skills of new or incumbent workers. The Hiring Incentive Training Grant provides up to $5,000 in training funds for hiring eligible unemployed workers.

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About The Author

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. Schwartz can be reached at [email protected]

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