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Washington Direct Financial Incentives 2012

Washington's economic development, finance, and tax organizations provide a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment. Specific programs include the Community Economic Revitalization Board, the Rural Washington Loan Fund, and the Forest Products Revolving Loan Fund.

The Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) Program provides low-cost financing for public facilities improvements required for private development. Low-interest loans and occasional grants are available to cities, counties, ports, and special utility districts to offset infrastructure costs and assist in the development and retention of jobs. Eligible projects include access roads and sewer and water extensions as well as other public improvements required to make sites attractive for private sector development. Infrastructure funded by CERB must serve either basic industries (manufacturing, processing, assembly, production, warehousing, and distribution) or external services (businesses that support the trading of goods and services outside state borders). A maximum of $1 million per project is available under CERB's traditional program. For more information, please visit:

The Rural Washington Loan Fund (RWLF) provides gap financing to businesses that will create new jobs or retain existing jobs, particularly for low income persons. The loan amount is determined by the "gap" and competitive factors, and cannot exceed 1/3 of the total project costs. Funds can be lent for the acquisition, engineering, improvement, rehabilitation, construction, operation or maintenance of any property. The maximum loan amount is $1 million dollars. For more information, please visit:

The Forest Products Revolving Loan Fund is designed to finance projects that implement value-added production processes. Financial assistance is available to qualified small and medium-sized forest products manufacturing firms. These loans may be used to finance projects that contribute to the diversification of the forest products industry. This fund is available to all areas of the state. The maximum loan is $1 million. For more information, please visit:

The Washington Economic Development Finance Authority (WEDFA) was created to develop innovative approaches to the problem of unmet capital needs. WEDFA can issue taxable non-recourse economic development bonds, a form of conduit financing similar to tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds. WEDFA has the authority to issue non-recourse economic development bonds on both a taxable and tax-exempt basis in support of qualifying projects - manufacturing and processing facilities and projects categorized as "exempt facilities" under federal tax law. These may include wastewater, solid waste disposal, mass commuting, and some types of recycling and co-generation projects. WEDFA cannot assist retail projects. For more information, please visit:

The Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) replaced the Job Training Partnership Act in 1998 and became effective in Washington in 2000. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) establishes the structure and relationship between national, state and local workforce investment activities. The purpose of WIA is "to provide workforce investment activities, through statewide and local workforce investment systems, that increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants, and increase occupational skill attainment by participants, and, as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the Nation." The federal act provides a range of workforce development activities administered through the Employment Security Department and local area Workforce Development Councils. Those activities provide employment and training services designed to benefit employers, dislocated workers, and low-income youth. The Workforce Board serves as the state workforce investment board (required by WIA) and manages the performance accountability for WIA-funded programs in Washington. For more information, please visit:

Customized Industrial Training:
The Washington State Job Skills Program (JSP) was established in 1983 to expand the state's ability to meet the job-specific training needs of industry. The program provides grants for customized training projects and requires at least 50 percent matching support from industry. The private-sector match may include cash, donated or loaned equipment, instructional time contributed by company personnel, and use of company facilities or training materials. The business-related operations eligible for JSP training programs include private corporations, firms, institutions, business associations, and industry groups concerned with manufacturing, trade, or services. JSP grants can support training for prospective employees before a facility opens or when an existing company expands, upgrading for current employees when new vacancies are created for unemployed people, and retraining employees to preserve their jobs. For more information, please visit:

Washington State Contact:
Susan St. Germain, Business Development
Washington State Department of Commerce
2001 6th Avenue, Suite 2600
Seattle, WA 98121

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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