• This post is part of an occasional series examining state and local reports evaluating economic development incentive programs. Last week Oklahoma’s Incentive Evaluation Commission received draft evaluations for twelve state incentives including the Quality Jobs Program. According to Oklahoma's Department of Commerce, the Quality Jobs program makes quarterly cash payments of up to 5 percent of new taxable payroll to qualifying manufacturers and certain service industries that have a new payroll investment of $2.5 million or more. The legislative intent behind Quality Jobs is to support establishments of basic industries that...

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  • Smart incentive use begins with good upfront due diligence on recipients and proposed investments. This post provides a quick refresher on why it is important to conduct background research on incentive applicants and the essential steps in the process. Problem prospects can drag down economic development efforts, but due diligence on companies seeking incentives can help economic development organizations: reduce risk refine strategies and recommendations identify conflicts of interest or past legal problems improve accountability to stakeholders If you are considering offering incentives to a company, here is what you...

  • California recently launched the California Business Incentives Gateway (CBIG), which is striving to bring all of California’s state and local economic development programs and incentives together in a single access point. The objective is to create an Amazon.com-type of shopping experience to help the state’s businesses find the exact programs that match their needs. Guest blogger Darrene Hackler provides the details: The California Business Incentives Gateway (CBIG) is an initiative from the California State Treasurer’s Office. CBIG is a comprehensive online tool that provides detail on state and local business development...

  • By at least one count, over 100 cities are vying for the 50,000 jobs at Amazon’s proposed $5 billion second headquarters. As cities put together their bids, here are some lessons we’ve learned about incentives from other corporate headquarters decisions. Focus first on strategy Incentives are meaningful but do not drive the decision to make an expensive investment in a new corporate headquarters. Companies choose to expand or relocate a headquarters to support their corporate strategy. Winning offers are aligned with that strategy. For example, headquarters moves often occur as...

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  • Two national initiatives are designed to encourage more inclusive and equitable economic development within cities. The Equitable Economic Development Fellowship (EED) from the National League of Cities (NLC), PolicyLInk and the Urban Land Institute is a two-year effort to help equity, transparency, sustainability and community engagement become driving forces in local economic development efforts. With support from the Surdna Foundation and Open Societies Foundation, NLC and its partners are providing technical assistance to cities “to help them pursue more equitable and inclusive economic development policies and programs in traditionally underserved communities.” Participating...

  • Economic development organizations play an important role helping communities recover following disasters. Industry leaders have created or curated the following valuable resources for individuals and entities engaged in all aspects of economic recovery. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with funding from the US Economic Development Administration has been a leader on issues surrounding rebuilding local economies post-disaster. Lynn Knight, IEDC's Vice President of Knowledge Management and Development, recently shared the following: IEDC is committed to sharing resources and best practices that help communities build back quickly and better after a disaster....