Business Assistance
Economic Vitality

Friendly: [frend-lee] (adj) favorably disposed; inclined to approve, help, or support

The Office of Economic Vitality will help your business navigate the financial and workforce needs and incentives and access funding for needed training, staffing and research. Through local and state resources, there are programs that are focused on assisting companies in Tallahassee and Leon County to grow and expand. Check out our targeted industry, workforce training, infrastructure, and special opportunity incentives below.

For more information on incentives or to determine your company’s eligibility, please contact our office.

Why Florida’s Capital?

  • NO corporate income tax on limited partnerships
  • NO corporate income tax on sub-chapter S-corporations
  • NO state personal income tax guaranteed by constitutional provision
  • NO corporate franchise tax on capital stock
  • NO state-level property tax assessed
  • NO property tax on business inventories
  • NO property tax on goods-in-transit for up to 180 days
  • NO sales and use tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state
  • NO sales tax on purchases of raw materials incorporated in a final product for resale, including non-reusable containers or packaging
  • NO sales/use tax on boiler fuels
  • NO sales/use tax on co-generation of electricity
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    Florida also provides tax exemptions and offers sales on:

    • Semiconductor, defense and space technology-based industry transactions involving manufacturing or research equipment
    • Purchases of machinery and equipment used by a new or expanding Florida business to manufacture, produce or process tangible personal property for sale
    • Labor, parts and materials used in repair of and incorporated into machinery and equipment that qualify for sales tax exemption upon purchase
    • Electricity used in the manufacturing process
    • Aircraft parts, modification, maintenance and repair, sale or lease of qualified aircraft
    • Commercial space activity – launch vehicles, payloads and fuel, machinery and equipment for production of items used exclusively at Spaceport Florida
    • Labor component of research and development expenditures
    • Any facility, device, fixture, machinery or equipment required for pollution control, abatement or monitoring of equipment used in manufacturing processing or compounding items for sale

Targeted Industry Incentives

The Capital Investment Tax Credit is an annual credit provided against the state’s corporate income tax for a period of up to 20 years. Projects that meet all criteria are eligible if they create at least 100 jobs and invest $25 million or more in capital costs in the sectors of: clean energy, biomedical technology, financial services, information technology, silicon technology, transportation equipment manufacturing, or be a corporate headquarters facility.

Florida is committed to preserving and growing its high-tech employment base by giving 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 and meeting the designated criteria can receive Qualified Defense and Space Contractor Tax Refunds of up to $8,000 per net new full-time equivalent job created or retained.

Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refunds are 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 and meet the designated criteria can receive tax refunds of more than $10,000 per net new full-time equivalent job created.

The Target Business Program (TBP) seeks to incent businesses that locate in designated target areas for economic growth and development; that build environmentally sensitive projects; that do business with other local businesses; and that practice good corporate citizenship all while ensuring a sound return on investment to the public. Funds awarded under this program may be used to reimburse (1) 100% of the cost of development fees and (2) a portion of the capital investment of the business project based on ad valorem taxes paid. The amount of funding would be based on a scoring system evaluated by a review committee with final approval.

Workforce Training Incentives

Quick Response Training is 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’ and trainers’ wages, curriculum development, and textbooks/manuals. This program is customized, flexible, and responsive to individual company needs.

The Incumbent Worker Training Program 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.

Infrastructure Incentives

Commonly referred to as the “Road Fund,” the Economic Development Transportation 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.

Special Opportunity Incentives

Florida encourages growth throughout the state by offering rural 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 increased urban area opportunity awards and lower wage qualification thresholds for businesses locating in many urban core/inner city areas that are experiencing conditions affecting the economic viability of the community and hampering the self-sufficiency of the residents.

Florida offers brownfield incentives to businesses that locate on a brownfield site with a Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreement (BSRA). 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.

Incentives for pursuing energy-efficient/sustainable options are available through the City of Tallahassee. They include energy audits, a rebate program as well a grant program, all designed to help businesses operate as efficiently at as possible. Visit City of Tallahassee Energy Incentives for more information.

State Small Business Credit Initiative

The Florida Capital Access Program is a loan portfolio insurance program enabling lenders to make loans to small businesses that are creditworthy, but are not getting the loans they need to expand and create jobs.

The Florida Venture Capital Program provides equity investments and convertible debt instruments to emerging Florida companies and companies locating in Florida with perceived long-term growth potential.

The Small Business Loan Support Program is designed to provide Florida small businesses with credit enhancement and other tools to better access commercial bank financing.

Florida Export Finance Corporation’s Florida Export Support Program helps expand employment and income opportunities through increased exports of goods and services through guarantees that support export transactions.

Florida Finance Network Organizations

Access Florida Finance Corporation works to increase the number of qualified black business enterprises, which, in turn, will increase competition in the marketplace.

Florida Development Finance Corporation issues bonds, both taxable and tax-exempt, to provide low-cost capital to Florida manufacturers. When more than a traditional loan is needed, this is a great resource.

Florida First Capital Finance Corporation offers a 504 loan program that is vital for businesses investing capital in facilities and equipment. The program requires the company to participate by contributing a percentage of the amount needed, which often provides local financial institutions an opportunity to provide needed supplemental funding.

Neighborhood Lending Partners, Inc. provides financing to developers of affordable housing and community revitalization.

Other Financial Assistance Opportunities

The Florida Angel Nexus powers angel investment groups statewide. Selected companies gain exposure to a large number of investors from angel groups across the state who co-invest to meet the company’s fundraising goals.

The Florida Growth Fund manages $750 million of capital dedicated to prudent investment in technology- and growth-related businesses with significant presence in the state of Florida.

The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research leverages Florida’s $2 billion research base to create new companies and jobs in industries that are driving the global economy. Their two-pronged approach includes both company building and company funding, and ensures the most promising start-ups receive the support and capital they need to grow.

Penta Mezzanine Fund is a private investment firm providing $2 to $15 million customized growth capital solutions to profitable, lower-middle market companies.

The Florida Opportunity Fund investment program invests in business and infrastructure projects. Their programs include the Fund-of-Funds Program, the Clean Energy Investment Program, and the Florida Venture Capital Program.

GrowFL helps second-stage companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity by providing strategies, resources, and support through strategic research, peer learning, and leadership development.

Design Works

The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department’s DesignWorks team is a group of urban designers that handle urban design, wayfinding signage, placemaking and special projects, and provide private design consultations with a focus on improving public spaces.

DesignWorks promotes quality in the “public realm” – streets, sidewalks, and places in a community shaped by groups and series of buildings given character and enclosure by architecture and landscape, and proves pedestrian comfort in the way the buildings meet the sidewalk.

DesignWorks’ focus on the “public realm” has created a sense of place in several Capital City districts. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, ultimately creating good public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. These spaces typically include retail shops and places of employment, people on the move or stopping to chat, a public park or square, and possibly some planned events or activities. .

Research & Analytics

The Office of Economic Vitality’s Research and Business Analytics Division is comprised of a team of experts that regularly monitors key economic metrics and current economic trends and conditions that are important to the local economy. In addition to the production of community reports, our analysts provide qualitative and quantitative analyses that assist in the business recruitment, retention, and expansion activities in Florida’s Capital City, and continue to develop new data resources that will assist in the business development process.

All of the Office of Economic Vitality’s key community metrics are currently available for download through our website’s Data Center. Our data downloads provide detailed information about our community’s demographics, development, economic factors, community and environment, education, innovation, labor force and income, and residential and commercial development.

In addition, Florida State University’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) allows companies to engage in research and creative work. UROP is a nationally-recognized, year-long program in which more than 350 high-achieving undergraduate, transfer, and veteran students serve as research-based interns in local companies at no cost.