For a list of New York economic development agencies that can help with the site selection process, visit our Online Site Seekers’ Guide.
UPDATED FINANCING & GRANTS
Better Buffalo Fund Program: The Better Buffalo Fund (BBF) is a Buffalo Billion Initiative aimed at creating vibrant, mixed-use, high-density neighborhoods and is focused on giving all residents of the City of Buffalo greater access to the major employment hubs. The fund offers up to $30 million for projects that encourage Buffalo’s economic development along transportation corridors and revitalize downtown commercial districts.
The Better Buffalo Fund offers two initiatives:
- Transit Oriented Development (TOD): a grant and revolving loan fund for up to $2 million in gap financing for adaptive reuse or infill capital projects that:
- Promote dense development (housing, employment, retail) in proximity to transit stops
- Encourage the use of multi-modal transportation
- Stimulate pedestrian activity through retail and neighborhood-oriented businesses and services, quality public spaces and accessible walkways
- Buffalo Main Streets Initiative (BMSI): considers grant requests from $50,000 to $500,000 to help revitalize historic downtowns and mixed-use neighborhood commercial districts. Funds can be used for building renovations and public space enhancements in mixed-use target areas with coordination from the community non-profit.
Bridge to Success Loan Program: Short-term loans are available to qualified MWBEs to boost their ability to participate in contracting opportunities with New York State.
- Loans typically range from $75,000 to $200,000
- Loan terms typically range from eight to 18 months
- Participating lenders make credit decisions and determine interest rates and applicable fees
- Bridge to Success lenders receive ESD incentive funds to stimulate lending and take on any additional loan risk
Global NY Fund Grant Program: Global NY export grants of up to $25,000 can help companies start exporting or increase their global exports. Export grant funding may be used for market customization, trade show/mission participation, translations of websites and promotional materials, product certification, export workshops and product adaptation to meet foreign regulatory requirements. Export assistance funding of up to $50,000 is available to non-profit organizations that provide export assistance and trade education to New York State companies.
Global NY Fund Loan Program: The Global New York Loan Fund Program is a partnership with participating lenders to provide export financing of up to $500,000, for each transaction; or an aggregate of $1,000,000 to eligible New York State small and mid-sized businesses. Empire State Development (ESD) is also offering interest-free loans of up to $50,000 for Distilled and Fermented Beverage industry businesses to promote New York State’s thriving beverage industry on a global scale. Companies must apply to ESD for these loans.
Linked Deposit Program (LDP): The program helps existing New York State firms obtain reduced-rate financing so they can: undertake projects to improve their competitiveness; improve market access and product development; modernize equipment or expand their facility; introduce new technologies facilitate ownership transition and; promote job creation and retention. Firms are provided up to a two to three percentage point savings on the prevailing interest rate for “Linked Loans,” to make borrowing less expensive. Eligible businesses can obtain loans from commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, farm credit institutions and the New York Business Development Corporation.
Market New York – Tourism Grant Program: Market New York is a grant program established to strengthen tourism and attract visitors to New York State by promoting destinations, attractions and special events. Funding is available for eligible projects that will create an economic impact by increasing tourism throughout the state. Eligible entities include not-for-profit corporations, municipalities, tourism promotional agencies (TPAs), and public benefit corporations and for-profit companies. Businesses must be certified in New York State.
Minority and Women-Owned Business Investment Fund Program: The MWBE Fund is a $2 million venture capital fund that invests in seed stage certified minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) throughout New York State. Excell Partners, with a successful history of investing in high-tech MWBE startup firms across NYS, was competitively selected to manage the MWBE Investment Fund. Investments of up to $500,000 per company for general technology companies and up to $750,000 per company for life-sciences companies can be made.
Scroll down for more financing and grant incentives.
UPDATED TAX INCENTIVES
Jobs Retention Program: The Empire State Jobs Retention Program was created to provide financial incentives to retain strategic businesses and jobs that are at risk of leaving the state due to the impact on business operations from a natural disaster.
Firms admitted to the Empire State Jobs Retention Program may qualify for a jobs tax credit of 6.85% of wages per impacted job that is retained in NYS. Impacted jobs mean those jobs of the firm existing at a location(s) within a county declared an emergency by the governor on the day before the event occurred that led to the emergency declaration. The applicant must demonstrate substantial physical damage and economic harm resulting from such event.
Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund: The Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund (MERF) provides loans to businesses or governments investing in projects that retain or create a significant number of private-sector jobs in economically distressed areas that are within the geographic area known as the NEW YORK portion of the service area of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. These areas include New York City and parts of Nassau, Westchester and Rockland counties.
Scroll down for more tax incentives.
FINANCING & GRANTS
Commercial District Revolving Loan Trust Fund Program: Empire State Development (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 terms not to exceed 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.
Economic Development Fund (EDF): Offers flexible financial assistance for projects that promote the economic health of New York State’ economic health 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.
Innovate NY Fund: A $47.3 million venture capital fund that invests in seed stage businsses to support innovation, job creation and high growth entrepreneurship throughout the New York State. The program is supported with $37 million from New York State and $10.3 million from Goldman Sachs.
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 an economically distressed area. The combination of a bank loan and a JDA Loan allows up to 90% financing of a project.
Typical financing structure:
- 50% Bank Loan
- 40% JDA Loan
- 10% Borrower Equity
A JDA Real Estate Loan is normally a second mortgage loan, subordinate to a first-mortgage loan provided by a bank; M&E Loans are secured by a first lien, co-equal with the bank’s lien, on the M&E being financed. Real Estate project costs include the cost of an existing building and renovations, purchase of land and construction of a new building and soft costs normally associated with a real estate transaction. M&E project costs include the cost of the machinery and its delivery, installation costs solely attributable to the machinery being purchased and soft costs related to the M&E acquisition.
New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund (The Fund): A seed and early-stage venture capital fund with $100 million to support and attract new high-growth businesses. The Fund provides critical funding to promote the commercialization of new technologies, encourage job creation, and drive economic growth. The NYSIVC Fund invests directly in seed and/or early-stage companies with an emphasis on strategic industries such as information technology, life sciences, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing. Initial investments typically range in size from $500,000 to $1.5 million. All investments by The Fund require at least a 2:1 match from private sources at the time of investment.
New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program (NYSBAP): Provides technical and financial assistance to help contractors secure surety bonding. Contractors may be eligible to receive a guarantee of up to 30% to secure a surety bond line, bid bond or a performance and payment bond on New York State and New York City agency led projects.
- Applicant must be a New York State small business or MWBE with at least two years of business operations.
- Maximum bond line or project size is $2 million.
- Minimum average gross revenue of $400,000 in the last two fiscal or calendar years and maximum gross revenue not to exceed $5 million in the most recent calendar or fiscal year.
- Minimum credit score of 600.
- Previous experience completing similar work to the contract opportunity being pursued.
Brownfield Cleanup Program: Encourages cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites across New York State as a means to revitalize economically and environmentally blighted communities by providing incentives such as liability relief and tax credits.
Empire State Music and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program: Provides incentives for qualified production companies to conduct technical rehearsals and other pre-tour activities and perform shows in regional theaters throughout Upstate New York. The program encourages the use of these upstate entertainment venues and provides competitive balance against competing venues located in Northeastern states that offer similar tax incentives to musical and theatrical productions produced on Broadway. Program credits of $4 million per year can be allocated. Qualified companies may be eligible to receive a fully refundable credit of 25% of certain production and transportation expenditures directly related to the technical period (those activities performed by technical personnel of a qualified touring production prior to commencement of a tour, including, but not limited to, those personnel responsible for lighting, sound, wardrobe and props) at a qualified facility in Upstate New York.
Excelsior Jobs Program: 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.
Firms in the Excelsior Jobs Program may qualify for four fully refundable tax credits. Businesses claim the credits over a benefit period of up to 10 years. To earn credits, firms must first meet and maintain established job and investment thresholds:
- Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit: A credit of 6.85% of wages per net new job.
- Excelsior Investment Tax Credit: Valued at 2% of qualified investments.
- Excelsior Research and Development Tax Credit: A credit of 50% of the Federal Research and Development credit up to 3% of research expenditures in NYS.
- Excelsior Real Property Tax Credit: Available to firms locating in certain distressed areas and to firms in targeted industries that meet higher employment and investment thresholds (Regionally Significant Project).
New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC): This program subsidizes long-term capital investment for operating companies and real estate development projects in order to foster job creation and community development in Low-Income Communities throughout New York State.
New York State (NYS) Commercial Tax Credit Program: Credits of up to $7 million a year can be allocated to encourage qualified production companies to produce commercials in NYS and help create and maintain jobs. The $7 million a year consists of three components for companies: shooting commercials downstate ($3 million), shooting upstate ($3 million) and those demonstrating incremental “growth” in commercial production ($1 million).
A credit of up to 20% of qualified production costs incurred in NYS for “growth” in commercial production above a base period may be earned. Additional credits of 5% of qualified costs may also be available. The Program is limited to advertisements recorded on film, audiotape, videotape or digital medium in NYS for multi-market distribution by way of radio, television, or motion picture theaters. Certain productions are excluded, including but not limited to news or current affairs programs, interview or talk programs, network promos, “how-to” (instructional) productions, stock footage, trailers promoting theatrical films, sporting events, game shows, award ceremonies, daytime dramas, reality programs and music videos.
New York State (NYS) Film Tax Credit Program: Provides incentives to qualified production companies that produce feature films, television series, relocated television series, television pilots, films for television and/or incur post-production costs associated with the original creation of these productions. Program credits of $420 million per year can be allocated and used to encourage companies to produce film projects in New York and help create and maintain film industry jobs. Of the $420 million, a set-aside for the post-production credit was increased from $7 million to $25 million per year beginning in 2015.
Production companies may be eligible to receive a fully refundable credit of 30% of qualified production costs and post-production costs incurred in New York State. An additional 5% credit may be available for post-production costs incurred in Upstate NY, outside the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD). The MCTD includes New York City, Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
For the period 2015-2019, productions with budgets over $500,000 can receive an additional 10% credit on qualified labor expenses (maximum of $5 million per year can be allocated for the additional 10% credit) incurred in the following counties: Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming or Yates.
START-UP NY: Offers new and expanding businesses the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on or near eligible university or college campuses in New York State. Partnering with these schools gives businesses direct access to advanced research laboratories, development resources and experts in key industries.
Employee Training Incentive Program (ETIP): Provides refundable tax credits to New York State employers for procuring skills training that upgrades or improves the productivity of their employees. Businesses can also receive tax credits for approved internship programs that provide training in advanced technology.
Tax credits may be awarded for costs associated with an eligible training program for current or new employees. The internship program is available for current students, recent graduates and recent members of the armed forces. Tax credits may be issued only after approved training is completed.
- ETIP: a credit of 50% of eligible training costs, up to $10,000 per employee receiving eligible training.
- Internship Program: a credit of 50% of the stipend paid to an intern, up to $3,000 per intern.
Employee Skills Training: Businesses must create at least 10 net new jobs or make a significant capital investment of at least $1 million in connection with the eligible training project. Businesses must operate predominantly in a strategic industry based upon the following criteria:
- Potential to create jobs in an economically distressed area;
- Shortages of workers trained to work in that industry;
- Ability and need to relocate to another state to find qualified workers;
- Potential to recruit minorities and women to be trained to work in an industry where they are traditionally underrepresented;
- Recent technological advances have created disruption in the industry and significant capital investment is needed to remain competitive.
Internship Program: An eligible internship program must provide training in advanced technology. Internship training can be provided by the business or by an approved provider. Training can be provided to interns who have not previously participated in an eligible internship program, and who are not current or former employees of the business. The business entity must have less than 100 employees and interns cannot comprise more than 50% of the workforce, or displace regular employees. Participation in the internship program cannot last longer than 12 months.
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.
The program’s EAP centers are strategically located throughout New York State. The applicant organization must be located in an area accessible to minority group members, women and other target populations. The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:
- not-for-profit corporation, operated by a board of directors representing community leaders in business, education, finance and government;
- community college; or
- Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).
Export Marketing Assistance Service (EMAS): Helps New York State businesses find sales agents or distributors abroad. Once accepted, Global NY’s international offices will provide local expertise for the markets you select, conduct customized research and identify potential partners for your company abroad. Eligible businesses should be New York State companies engaged in manufacturing or services with New York State production content of at least 51%.