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Tracy Tosta

Tracy Tosta

published on August 2, 2018 - 2:17 PM
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The rotating door of incentives: who can stay on top of it?

Incentives for attracting and retaining businesses in California can be as diverse as the industries they support. Incentives can be found for all aspects of business ranging from the utilization of recycled materials (Recycling Market Development Zones) to research and development tax credits, cost-saving energy efficiency programs, hiring incentives, and many more. These incentives also have various life spans with changing parameters and thresholds. It can be a struggle for many small businesses to run their operations and stay on top of the nuanced details of all available incentives from every agency from federal to local levels. Fortunately, that’s what the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is here for.

By far, one of the most lucrative incentives available in the past few years is the California Competes Tax Credit. This is a tax credit made available through the State of California to assist growing businesses over a five-year period. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has recently announced a program extension for the next five years; $180 million is available per year for California businesses looking to expand, create jobs and enhance the local economy. There are three application periods per year and we expect Fresno County businesses to continue to be competitive in securing this tax credit.

The State prioritizes businesses in disadvantaged and economically challenged areas, thus giving Fresno County businesses a slight advantage. The EDC markets this incentive in its business expansion and attraction efforts and has facilitated the process with dozens of companies since the program’s inception. Since 2015, 45 Fresno County-associated companies have received the incentive for a combined private investment of over $500 million, supporting 3,100 jobs with an average of $842,000 awarded per company. In fact, during the 2017-18 fiscal year alone, over $12 million was awarded to Fresno County businesses, supporting just under 1,400 new jobs and $175 million in private investment.

The businesses applying for these credits vary in size and type. The application takes into account the number of new full-time jobs created, project investment, and community economic impact, among other factors. Heed this advice if nothing else: know your story if you are thinking of applying and show the State how you will benefit California and Fresno County.

The California Competes Tax Credit application period for fiscal year 2018-2019 opened on July 30, 2018 and will close on August 20, 2018. Two additional application periods will open in January and March 2019. Interested parties or businesses that would like to apply can visit

For more information on this or other incentives, call Tracy Tosta, Economic Development Coordinator at 559-476-9361 or email The EDC is a private non-profit organization that assists local businesses with expansion and retention services and also provides site selection assistance to incoming businesses.

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