Incentivize It

How to Use State and Local Business Dollars to Grow Your Company

Reminder: Florida is one of the friendliest business tax states in the nation.

By Kevin Allen February 13, 2017 Published in the January-February 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Look for tax credit cmyk zhxrl7


Florida is one of the friendliest business tax states in the nation. And while it may seem like more incentives aren’t needed, or that they’re not being used for small local companies, we’re calling out some of the overlooked incentives at the state and local levels that might help you grow your business. Heck, someone’s going to get them.

Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program (QTI)

This incentive is known for attracting new businesses to Florida through tax incentives of up to $6,000 for each new job created in the state. But did you know that it also applies to existing Florida businesses looking to expand? If your business has plans to grow its operations in the state and create new jobs, check to see if you’re qualified.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

Employers who choose to hire workers from targeted groups are eligible for considerable tax credits. According to, where you can find more information about the credit, “The WOTC can reduce an employer’s federal tax liability up to $9,600 per new hire, depending on the target group.” This initiative is available right now through 2019.

Targeted groups include: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, veterans, ex-felons, designated community residents, vocational rehabilitation referrals, summer youths, Snap recipients (food stamps), supplemental security income recipients, long-term family assistance recipients and long-term unemployment recipients.

Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation

Businesses looking to relocate, expand or invest in Manatee County should consider reaching out to the Bradenton Area EDC. Since 2009, the EDC has helped 73 businesses by providing grants, tax incentives or expedited county reviews to help streamline projects. Those businesses are expected to bring more than 3,800 jobs and $1.9 billion in wages to local residents over the next four years.

Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County

Sarasota County’s EDC offers similar incentives and programs to its Bradenton counterpart. Unique to Sarasota’s EDC is the Employed Worker Training program. The state offers an Incumbent Worker Training program, but the Sarasota County EDC takes it a step further by partnering with CareerSource Suncoast to bring short-term training aimed at upgrading a staff’s skill level.

Another EDC Program through CareerSource Suncoast, On the Job Training, provides an incentive for local employers to hire qualified individuals who may not have the exact experience you’re looking for. The program will reimburse businesses for part of the employee’s salary while they gain experience.

Show Comments