Heartland Business Incentives
Heartland Business Incentives & Company Relocation/Expansion Benefits
This unique region of Florida has an abundant supply of land for business growth, allowing for site-specific development. For those desiring an existing site, there are business parks located throughout the region. To further support economic development, the Governor, by Executive Order, has designated Florida’s Heartland as an Area of Critical Economic Concern which provides enhanced incentives with priority status in obtaining funding and waivers for utilization of state incentives.
Business Incentives unique to Florida’s Heartland:
Two Foreign Trade Zones in the FHREDI Region:
Sebring Airport Authority
Mike Willingham, Executive Director
Sebring Regional Airport
128 Authority Lane, Sebring, FL USA 33870
(863) 655-6444 ph. (863) 655-6447 fax
Collier County Airport Authority
Penny Phillippi, Interim Director
Immokalee Regional Airport
165 Airpark Boulevard, Immokalee, FL USA 34142
(866) 362-7537 ph. (239) 263-6021 fax
All areas of FHREDI are designated as HUBZones. The Small Business Administration’s HUBZone Program was created to:
- Promote job growth, capital investment, and economic development to historically underutilized business zones.
- Provided contracting assistance to small businesses located in these economically distressed communities
Incentives for New and Expanding Businesses:
TARGETED INDUSTRY INCENTIVES:
Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI)
The Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund incentive is available for companies that create high wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries. This incentive includes refunds on corporate income, sales, ad valorem, intangible personal property, insurance premium, and certain other taxes. Pre-approved applicants who create jobs in Florida receive tax refunds of $3,000 per net new Florida full-time equivalent job created; $6,000 in an Enterprise Zone or Rural Community (county). For businesses paying 150 percent of the average annual wage, add $1,000 per job; for businesses paying 200 percent of the average annual salary, add $2,000 per job; businesses falling within a designated high impact sector or increasing exports of its goods through a seaport or airport in the state by at least 10 percent in value or tonnage in each year of receiving a QTI refund, add $2,000 per job; projects locating in a designated Brownfield area (Brownfield Bonus) can add $2,500 per job. The local community where the company locates contributes 20 percent of the total tax refund. There is a cap of $5 million per single qualified applicant in all years, and no more than 25 percent of the total refund approved may be taken in any single fiscal year. New or expanding businesses in selected targeted industries or corporate headquarters are eligible.
Qualified Defense and Space Contractor Tax Refund (QDSC)
Florida is committed to preserving and growing its high technology employment base by giving Florida defense, homeland security, and space business contractors a competitive edge in consolidating contracts or subcontracts, acquiring new contracts, or converting contracts to commercial production. Pre-approved applicants creating or retaining jobs in Florida may receive tax refunds of $3,000 per net new Florida full-time equivalent job created or retained; $6,000 in an Enterprise Zone or rural county. For businesses paying 150 percent of the average annual wage, add $1,000 per job; for businesses paying 200 percent of the average annual salary, add $2,000 per job.
Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC)
The Capital Investment Tax Credit is used to attract and grow capital-intensive industries in Florida. It is an annual credit, provided for up to twenty years, against the corporate income tax. Eligible projects are those in designated high-impact portions of the following sectors: clean energy, biomedical technology, financial services, information technology, silicon technology, transportation equipment manufacturing, or be a corporate headquarters facility. Projects must also create a minimum of 100 jobs and invest at least $25 million in eligible capital costs. Eligible capital costs include all expenses incurred in the acquisition, construction, installation, and equipping of a project from the beginning of construction to the commencement of operations. The level of investment and the project’s Florida corporate income tax liability for the 20 years following commencement of operations determines the amount of the annual credit.
High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI)
The High Impact Performance Incentive is a negotiated grant used to attract and grow major high impact facilities in Florida. Grants are provided to pre-approved applicants in certain high-impact sectors designated by the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED). In order to participate in the program, the project must: operate within designated high-impact portions of the following sectors-- clean energy, corporate headquarters, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors, and transportation equipment manufacturing; create at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs (if a R&D facility, create at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs) in Florida in a three-year period; and make a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million (if a R&D facility, make a cumulative investment of at least $25 million) in a three-year period. Once recommended by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) and approved by OTTED, the high impact business is awarded 50 percent of the eligible grant upon commencement of operations and the balance of the awarded grant once full employment and capital investment goals are met.
WORKFORCE TRAINING INCENTIVES:
Quick Response Training Program (QRT)
Quick Response Training (QRT) - an employer-driven training program designed to assist new value-added businesses and provide existing Florida businesses the necessary training for expansion. A state educational facility - community college, area technical center, school district or university - is available to assist with application and program development or delivery. The educational facility will also serve as fiscal agent for the project. The company may use in-house training, outside vendor training programs or the local educational entity to provide training. Reimbursable training expenses include: instructors'/trainers' wages, curriculum development, and textbooks/manuals. This program is customized, flexible, and responsive to individual company needs. To learn more about the QRT program, visit Workforce Florida.
Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWT)
Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) - a program that provides training to currently employed workers to keep Florida's workforce competitive in a global economy and to retain existing businesses. The program is available to all Florida businesses that have been in operation for at least one year prior to application and require skills upgrade training for existing employees. Priority is given to businesses in targeted industries, Enterprise Zones, HUB Zones, Inner City Distressed areas, Rural Counties and areas, and Brownfield areas. For additional information on the IWT program, visit Workforce Florida.
Economic Development Transportation Fund
The Economic Development Transportation Fund, commonly referred to as the "Road Fund," is an incentive tool designed to alleviate transportation problems that adversely impact a specific company's location or expansion decision. The award amount is based on the number of new and retained jobs and the eligible transportation project costs, up to $3 million. The award is made to the local government on behalf of a specific business for public transportation improvements.
SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY INCENTIVES:
Florida encourages growth throughout the state by offering increased incentive awards and lower wage qualification thresholds in its rural counties. Additionally, a Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and Rural Infrastructure Fund exist to meet the special needs that businesses encounter in rural counties.
Florida offers incentives to businesses that locate in brownfield sites, which are underutilized industrial or commercial sites due to actual or perceived environmental contamination. The Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus Refund is available to encourage Brownfield redevelopment and job creation. Approved applicants receive tax refunds of up to $2,500 for each job created.
LOCAL OPTION TAX ABATEMENT:
Most of our FHREDI counties offer a Local Option Tax Abatement to:
- Promote economic development.
- Preserve current local tax base and provide for future tax revenue increases.
- Attract new businesses and to target the type of businesses they may want to attract.
- Compete for jobs with other states and countries that have lower personal property taxes or none at all.
- Reward a company who has been a good corporate citizen.
- And because annual salaries of the new and retained jobs flow into the local community.
Other business factors may dictate where a company locates, but tax abatement is one of the key considerations for a company to remain competitive, continue in business and maintain their local employment. Contact the local county EDO regarding the availably of a Local Option Tax Abatement program.
Enterprise Zone Incentives
Florida's Enterprise Zones were established to support business location and expansion, resulting in increased employment opportunities and new capital investment. Businesses taking advantage of Enterprise Zone incentives will greatly reduce location and operating costs. All six counties in Florida's Heartland region have Enterprise Zones.
Learn about Florida’s Enterprise Zones at:
Incentives available in Rural Enterprise Zones:
The Florida Enterprise Zone Program offers various tax incentives to businesses located within the designated enterprise zones. In addition, local governments may also offer their own incentives.
Listed below are all of the Florida incentives for businesses located in an Enterprise Zone. Click on the name of the incentive for further details.
Allows a business located within a Rural Enterprise Zone to take a sales and use tax credit for 30 or 45 percent of wages paid to new employees who live within a Rural County. To be eligible, a business must create at least one new job. The Sales Tax Credit cannot be used in conjunction with the Corporate Tax Jobs Credit.
Allows a business located within a Rural Enterprise Zone to take a corporate income tax credit for 30 or 45 percent of wages paid to new employees who reside within a Rural County. To be eligible, a business must create at least one new job. The Corporate Tax Credit cannot be used in conjunction with the Sales Tax Credit.
A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of certain business property, which is used exclusively in an Enterprise Zone for at least 3 years.
A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of building materials used to rehabilitate real property located in an Enterprise Zone.
New or expanded businesses located within an enterprise zone are allowed a credit against Florida corporate income tax equal to 96% of ad valorem taxes paid on the new or improved property.
A 50% sales tax exemption is available to qualified businesses located within an Enterprise Zone on the purchase of electrical energy, if the municipality has reduced the municipal utility tax by at least 50%.
Allows businesses a 50% credit on Florida corporate income tax, insurance premium tax, or sales tax refund for donations made to local community development projects. Businesses are not required to be located in an enterprise zone to be eligible for this credit.
Provides an exemption from ad valorem property tax for licensed childcare facilities operating in areas designated as enterprise zones.