Business Incentives Overview

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation and the State of Indiana are very proactive when it comes to incentives to encourage new business expansions, business attraction projects, and entrepreneurialism.  LaGrange County and its communities have been very proactive in utilizing TIF (tax-increment financing) districts to help improve industrial areas, and will consider the use of other incentives such as tax abatements and bonding.  Additionally, the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation has created the LaGrange County Investment Fund which was created to help assist with relocation and attraction efforts.

Below, you will find a list of some of our regional partners that can also assist with incentives and other business assistance:

 

Regional Resources

Community Development Corporation
The Community Development Corporation of Northeast Indiana (CDC) is a City of Fort Wayne sponsored 501 c (6) not for profit business development organization. Our primary objective is to promote the growth and development of small commercial and industrial for profit businesses in Indiana through creative loan programs.

Indiana Small Business Development Corporation
The purpose of the Northeast Indiana SBDC is to enhance economic development in northeast Indiana by assisting new and existing small business. The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of Indiana, and many local partners, including the City of Fort Wayne and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).

WorkOne Northeast
WorkOne connects with various state and federal agencies offer grants and incentives to businesses to help train workers. WorkOne can also assist with hiring a skilled workforce for companies that are expanding operations.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC)
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is the State of Indiana’s lead economic development agency. The IEDC was officially established in February 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce. In order to respond quickly to the needs of businesses, the IEDC operates like a business. The IEDC focuses its efforts on growing and retaining businesses in Indiana and attracting new business to the State of Indiana. The IEDC is focused exclusively on economic development and has incorporated all state entities with economic development responsibilities into its organizational structure.

Grants

21st Century Research and Technology Fund
The Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund was created to stimulate the process of diversifying the State’s economy by developing and commercializing advanced technologies in Indiana. The Board, representing most of the academic and commercial sectors of the State, approves awards.

Small Business Innovation Research Initiative
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) — along with its sister program, the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) — are highly competitive and encourage small businesses to explore their technological potential. SBIR/STTR funding is available from 11 participating agencies throughout the United States and focuses on various technological areas.

Industrial Development Grant Fund (IDGF)
This grant provides money to local governments for off-site infrastructure projects associated with an expansion of an existing Indiana company or the location of a new facility in Indiana. State funding through the IDGF program must be matched by a combination of local government and company financial support.

Loans

LaGrange County Revolving Loan Fund
Fund established in late 2012 structured to provide financial assistance to companies looking to relocate or expand in LaGrange County, or for new entrepreneurial ventures. Fund is designed to be used in conjunction with traditional financing. Loans cannot exceed $200,000 or more than 10% of the funds available balance.

Tax Exempt Bonds
Private Activity Bonds are often called Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) or Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs) and are issued by state or local governmental entities for the benefit of a private company, usually manufacturers. Interest on the bonds is generally exempt from federal income taxes for investors, which typically results in lower long-term interest rates to the borrower.

Tax Credits

Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit (EDGE)
The Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) is a refundable tax credit program that rewards companies creating jobs and contributing to the growth of Indiana’s economy. EDGE credits are calculated as a percentage of payroll tax withholding for net new Indiana jobs. EDGE credits may be awarded for a period of up to 10 years.

R & D Tax Credit
The Research & Development Tax Credit provides an incentive for business investment in Indiana by providing a credit against state tax liability for qualified company research expenses. The tax credit is based upon the increase in Indiana R&D over the prior three-year basis, and equals up to 15% of the first $1,000,000 of investment,and can be carried forward 10 years.

Hoosier Business Investment Tax Credit (HBI)
This program encourages capital investment in Indiana by providing a credit against a company’s Indiana tax liability. The credit amount is based on a company’s qualified capital investment with the final credit amount determined by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, based on an analysis of the economic benefits of the proposed investment.

Industrial Recovery Tax Credit (Dinosaur Building)
The Industrial Recovery tax credit provides an incentive for companies to invest in facilities requiring significant rehabilitation or remodeling expense. After a building has been designated as an industrial recovery site, companies may be eligible for a tax credit calculated as a percentage of qualified rehabilitation expense.

Venture Capital Investment Tax Credit
The Venture Capital Investment Tax Credit was established to improve access to capital to fast growing Indiana companies by providing individual and corporate investors an additional incentive to invest in early stage firms. Investors who provide qualified debt or equity capital to Indiana companies receive a credit against their Indiana income tax liability.

Headquarters Relocation Tax Credit
When a business relocates its corporate headquarters (defined as the location of the principal office of the principal executives) to Indiana, it is entitled to a credit against its state tax liability equal to half of the costs incurred in relocating the headquarters. A company must have a worldwide annual revenue of at least $100 million to qualify.

Work Opportunities Tax Credit
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit program that offers incentives to employers who hire individuals who have consistently had difficulty in securing and retaining employment. The credit helps offset the federal tax liability of private, for-profit employers. The program covers only new hires who have not worked for the employer in the past.

Hoosier Alternative Fuel Vehicle Manufacturer Tax Credit
This program provides a credit up to 15% of the qualified investment for the manufacture of alternative fuel vehicles. Applicants must compensate employees at least 150% of the state’s hourly minimum wage, and agree to maintain operations for at least 10 years. This program is designed to foster job creation and higher wages in IN; reduce dependency on imported energy sources; and reduce pollution from traditional fueled vehicles.

Media Production Expenditure Tax Credit
Program to exempt sales tax on personal property if property is purchased directly for use in a qualified Indiana media production. Provides a credit for up to 15% of the amount spent for qualified production ventures, and is refundable.

Exemptions

R&D Sales Tax Exemptions
The R&D Sales Tax Exemption provides a refund of 50% of the Indiana sales taxes paid on purchases of eligible research and development equipment purchased after June 30, 2007.

Patent Income Exemption
Taxpayers are exempt from certain income derived from qualified utility and plant patents. Qualified taxpayers are eligible for an exemption from 50% of patent income for each of the first five years, and decreases over the next five years to 10% in year ten.

Workforce Training

Skills Enhancement Fund
The Skills Enhancement Fund (SEF) provides financial assistance to businesses committed to training their workforce. Trainees must be Indiana residents. SEF reimburses eligible training expenses over a two-year term. Companies may reapply for additional SEF funds after their initial two-year term. IEDC typically does not provide reimbursement for training that is required by law.

Talent Initiative
The Talent Initiative is an aggressive project funded by the Lilly Endowment to expand the “talent pipeline” needed to support growth of high quality jobs in the northeast Indiana region. Companies must locate in NE Indiana to take advantage of this program. The Talent Initiative focuses on a continuum of strategies from K-12 education to higher education and adult worker retraining – all designed to meed demand for skilled workers in the Defense/Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing sectors of the regional economy. Training Grants are available for high-tech skills and work certifications that are critical to a company’s success and to our region’s future.

Special Programs

Certified Site Ready Program
The Certified Site Ready Program is a northeast Indiana specific site certification program that was established by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership in conjunction with the Northeast Indiana Foundation and Strategic Development Group Inc. of Columbia, SC. The program was established to increase the number of development ready sites in northeast Indiana. Sites are held to 15 exacting standards to ensure a potential customer that a site is development ready and minimizes the risk a client could face in the development process. LaGrange County has one of only six sites in the ten county region to receive this coveted designation.

Certified Technology Park Program
The Certified Technology Parks program supports the attraction and growth of high-technology business in Indiana and promotes technology transfer opportunities. Designation as a Certified Tech Park allows for the local recapture of certain state and local tax revenue which can be invested in the development of the park. Allen County, Indiana’s Certified Technology Park is the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center.

Local Incentives

Local Business Incentives

Property Tax Abatement/Property Tax Phase-In
An incentive offered to build new or expand existing industrial facilities through the abatement of real and personal property taxes for a set period of time, or for the re-use of vacant industrial buildings. To assist with these efforts, the LaGrange County Council has declared all of unincorporated LaGrange County as a Economic Revitalization Area (ERA) which streamlines the tax-abatement approval process for prospective users.

Download a helpful information sheet describing the tax abatement/phase-in schedules here

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Established through Redevelopment Commissions in the various LaGrange County communities, TIF districts capture taxes generated by investments to finance infrastructure, development options, and other improvements inside a specific jurisdictional area. LaGrange County currently has TIF districts throughout unincorporated LaGrange County, as well as in most of the incorporated communities.

LaGrange County Project Investment Fund
The LaGrange County Project Investment Fund was created by the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation to assist with business attraction efforts for LaGrange County and its communities. The fund was established with unallocated CEDIT dollars from the government of LaGrange County.

Private Activity Bonds
Industrial Revenue and Industrial Development Bonds can be issued by local governmental entities for the benefit of a private company. The proceeds from the bonds can be used to loan to businesses to pay for capital investment projects. The bonds must be paid back by the company. Most often, the bonds are tax exempt for the investor, which generally results in a lower long term interest rate to a borrower.

Local Economic Development for Growing Economy (LEDGE) Credit
An incentive that provides credits to businesses for competitive projects based upon job creation. Program is typrically prorated with an investment provided locally upfront to the company with portions forgiven annually provided agreed upon terms between the community and company are met. Provides a competitive advantage for LaGrange County over competing communities.

LaGrange County Revolving Loan Fund
Fund established in late 2012 structured to provide financial assistance to companies looking to relocate or expand in LaGrange County, or for new entrepreneurial ventures. Fund is designed to be used in conjunction with traditional financing. Loans cannot exceed $200,000 or more than 10% of the funds available balance.

Invest in Our Future Fund
Fund established in October 2013 by the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation championed by former LaGrange County Councilman Fred Brown, the fund was created to encourage not only the creation and location of new jobs in LaGrange County, but to encourage new residents to purchase existing or build new homes inside of LaGrange County. The fund will provide as part of an agreement with a LaGrange County company on an LCEDC-assisted and approved project reimbursement of up to $2500 in closing costs.

Download a helpful information sheet on the Invest in Our Future fund here