Wisconsin Direct Financial Incentives
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) 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.
The Wisconsin Department of Commerce (Commerce) has a broad array of financial assistance programs available to businesses and communities for economic development. These programs cover fixed assets, training, and new product development, with some limited "soft-cost'' financing available. For more information, call 1-800-HELP-BUS(iness). • The Major Economic Development Program 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 Fund helps businesses undertake the research and development of new products.
• The Customized Labor Training Program 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 Minority Business Development Fund provides loans or grants to assist in the development of minority-owned companies. Business must be 51 percent controlled, owned, and actively managed by minority group members, and the project must retain or increase employment.
• The Rural Economic Development Program 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.
• The Technology Zone Program offers tax benefits designed to stimulate the growth of business in Wisconsin's high-technology sectors. Each of the state's eight technology zones is allocated $5 million in income tax credits.
• The Enterprise Development Zone Program offers tax benefits designed to encourage private-sector investment in economically distressed areas. The maximum amount of tax credits per zone is $3 million.
• The Technology Venture Fund Program 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 Program 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 Program 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 program provides state match funding to enhance a small Wisconsin business's federal funding application.
• The Angel Investment and Venture Capital Tax Credit Programs 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.
Wisconsin State Contact:
Wisconsin Department of Commerce
201 W. Washington Avenue
P. O. Box 7970
Madison, WI 53707
Fax request hotline: (608) 264-6154
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.