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Inward Investment Guides

Wisconsin Direct Financial Incentives 2011

Wisconsin's economic development, finance, and tax organizations provide a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment. Specific programs include industrial revenue bonds, the Technology Venture Fund, and the Brownfields Initiative.

Area Development Online Research Desk (March 2011)
Industrial revenue bonds:
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB's) are tax-free bonds issued by municipalities. The proceeds are loaned to new or expanding businesses for development projects. The interest rate is generally below the going prime rate. The federal government sets the annual volume cap for each state. The Wisconsin Department of Commerce's Volume Cap Allocation Council approves the allocation of volume cap based on the overall economic and community development impact of the proposed projects.

Financing:
The Wisconsin Department of Commerce (Commerce) has a broad array of financial assistance available to businesses and communities for economic development. These programs cover fixed assets, training, and technology development, with some limited "soft-cost'' financing available. For more information, call 1-800-HELP-BUS(iness).

Major Economic Development funding is designed to assist businesses that will create jobs as they expand or relocate in Wisconsin. The program offers low-interest loans for business development projects creating a significant economic impact.

• The Technology Development funding helps businesses undertake the applied research and development of new products.
• The Customized Labor Training funding is designed to assist companies that are investing in new technologies or manufacturing processes by providing a grant of up to 50 percent of the cost of training employees on the new technologies.
• The Rural Economic Development funding helps small rural businesses start up and expand their operations.
The Community Development Block Grant Program provides grants to communities to lend to businesses for job creation and retention activities. These grants can be used for capital assets, or for the public infrastructure necessary to support a business expansion.
The Brownfields Initiative provides grants to persons, business, local development organizations and municipalities for environmental remediation activities utilizing brownfields sites.
Technology Venture Fund funding provides low-interest loans to Wisconsin high-tech companies with fewer than 100 employees that are seeking angel or other seed capital investment to facilitate the capital search.
The Technology Assistance Grant provides grants of up to $15,000 to early-stage Wisconsin high-tech companies to offset costs of hiring qualified independent parties to perform professional services.
The Technology Bridge Grant provides funding to small businesses that are struggling to maintain operations after they have received Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants and are awaiting the beginning of Phase II or other federal follow-on funding decisions.
The Technology Matching Grant provides state match funding to enhance a small Wisconsin business's federal funding application.
The Angel Investment and Venture Capital Tax Credits are designed to encourage investment in small, high-technology businesses that have high growth potential. Early-stage businesses conducting pre-commercialization activities related to proprietary technology may be designated as Qualified New Business Ventures. Angel investors, angel investment networks and venture capital seed funds may qualify for Wisconsin tax credits by investing in these designated companies.
The Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Network offers statewide assistance for small businesses at all stages of developments and incorporates the resources and experience of four leading state organizations.

The Auto Adjustment Entrepreneurial Support Initiative from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration will help create jobs by expanding entrepreneurship efforts in this region. It is one of a series of grants by the U.S. Department of Commerce to help communities recover from plant closures and layoffs by automotive manufacturers and suppliers. The source of the funds is the Midwest Flood Relief Fund. The premise is that job diversity can minimize economic disruption during disasters, as well as plant closures and layoffs by automotive manufacturers and suppliers. It applies to Kenosha, Racine, Rock, and Walworth counties.

Wisconsin State Contact:
Wisconsin Department of Commerce
201 W. Washington Avenue
P. O. Box 7970
Madison, WI 53707
(608) 266-1018
Fax: (608) 266-34


Incentive and tax information is provided to Area Development by each state's economic development or commerce agency for information purposes only and is subject to revision at any time by the state government. Please contact the state agency directly for full requirements and offerings.

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