Financing & Grants
Financing & Grants

The Office of Economic Vitality will help your business navigate its financial and workforce needs, determine its eligibility for incentives, and access funding for needed training, staffing, and research. Through local and state resources, Tallahassee’s pro-business climate provides a number of incentives for businesses. To find out if your business qualifies for any of the incentives listed below, contact the Business Development team and a business development manager will work with you, answer any questions and guide you through the process.

Local Incentive Programs & Resources

Targeted Industries Incentives

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.

DesignWorks

The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department’s DesignWorks team is a group of urban designers that handle 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.

Site Selection

Whether you are looking to relocate or expand your business, you can partner with the Office of Economic Vitality to find a site that fits your exact needs. Our experienced team is here to help your company find the right property through our site selection process. Our services include securing real estate solutions and economic development incentives with the relevant federal, state and local authorities.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Program

Leon County, in a public-private partnership with the Florida Development Finance Corporation, was one of the first communities in Florida to launch a commercial and residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE financing is a tool that enables property owners to make energy efficiency, wind resistance, and solar energy improvements. The financing is then repaid on the property tax bill. Commercial PACE financing provides local business owners with another tool to help make energy efficiency and weatherization upgrades to their property, reducing utility bills and conserving resources.

State Incentive Programs

State Small Business Credit Initiative

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.

Targeted Industries 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.

Urban Area Incentives

The Urban Job Tax Credit Program offers an incentive for eligible businesses located within one of the 13 designated urban areas to create new jobs. The credit ranges from $500 to $2,000 per qualified job and can be taken against either the Florida Corporate Income Tax or the Florida Sales and Use Tax. The credit can only be taken against one of these two taxes. These tax credits are provided to encourage meaningful employment opportunities that will improve the quality of life of those employed and to encourage economic expansion of new and existing businesses in urban areas of Florida.

Workforce Training Grants

Quick Response Training assists new value-added businesses and provides existing Florida businesses with the training necessary for expansion. Companies may use in-house training, outside vendor training programs, or a local educational entity to provide training. Reimbursable training expenses include instructors’ and trainers’ wages, curriculum development, and textbooks/manuals. After the company submits an application, CareerSource Florida will determine an approved per-trainee reimbursement amount based upon the industry, wage, location, and reimbursable expense amounts. The actual reimbursement to the company is calculated based on the number of new hires that have completed training and the approved amount per trainee.

The Incumbent Worker Training Program provides financial assistance for training currently employed workers. 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. Eligible companies may participate every other year. CareerSource Florida will determine an approved per-trainee reimbursement amount based upon the industry, wage, location, and reimbursable expense amounts.

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.

High Impact Performance Grant

The High Impact Performance Grant is a negotiated grant provided to pre-approved applicants who operate within designated high-impact portions of the following sectors: advanced manufacturing, clean energy, corporate headquarters, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors, and transportation equipment manufacturing; create at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs (if an R&D facility, create at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs) in Florida; and make a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million (if an R&D facility, make a cumulative investment of at least $25 million) all in a three-year period.

Green Incentives

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 the City of Tallahassee’s website for more information.

Tallahassee-Leon County has a commercial PACE program. Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, is a financing tool that enables business owners and homeowners to lower their utility bills and increase their buildings’ energy efficiency. The program uses approved third party administrators that provide funding for the improvements, with repayment, through a special non-ad valorem assessment levied on the property, with the property owners repaying financing annually through their property tax bill. The PACE program removes the barriers of high upfront costs for energy efficiency and weatherization upgrades while also allowing property owners to reduce their carbon footprint. To learn more, please visit Greenworks’ website at https://www.greenworkslending.com/.

COVID-19 RELIEF PROGRAMS

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The Program offers forgivable low-interest loans to small businesses facing uncertainty due to COVID-19, so businesses can retain workers, maintain payroll, and cover other existing overhead costs. Borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)

This Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.  

Important Dates

  • Friday, April 30: Registration for the application portal begins at 9am ET.
  • Monday, May 3: Applications open at 12pm ET. 
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. This grant provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. This grant provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and sole proprietors can apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan up to $500,000. This loan provides economic relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.

SBA Debt Relief

SBA offers debt relief to existing SBA loan borrowers whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19.