I am sometimes asked by realtors and others about what information about a company and project in order to be able to give an assessment of incentives. So, here’s a first basic set of yes/no questions I (and others involved with our retention and expansion program) ask.
HITS – Prequalification Questions (Hiring, Investing, Training, Space)
These four question help determine if there is an economic development project or a key economic development service that could be provided?
1. Hiring: do you think you may be hiring in the next 12 months? Will you need to lay some people off in the next 12 months?
• The most important determining factor for getting incentives is job creation. If you aren’t hiring, then you won’t qualify for most (but not all) incentive programs. Tax credits, loans, grants all usually depend on the number of new hires.
2. Investing: do you think that you may be investing more money into the business within the next 12 months over and above general operating expenses? Examples would include any fixed capital assets (land, building, construction, renovation, machinery and equipment), research and development costs, training costs, working capital.
• The second most important determining factor for getting incentives is fixed capital asset investment. Working capital and other soft costs are next in importance. If there is no hiring and no investing being done, then there is no “traditional” economic development project.
3. Training: do you think you will be spending any money on training for new and/or existing employees over the next 12 months?
• There are training programs which do not require additional hires or investment (other than what was spent on the training itself). There are also people on our team who are training experts who can help determine how the training needs might best be met and if there are any programs to assist in paying for it.
4. Space: are you thinking about changing space or adding on to your current space within the next 12 months?
• Finding companies the space to do business in is real estate brokerage, and this is a key function of economic developers. Not that they replace brokers themselves, but they add value to the equation by knowing their areas better than anyone when it comes to sites, industrial, distribution, and often office, tech, and commercial space as well. This is a key economic development service that can be provided for a business even if they do not need any assistance.
If you/your client answered yes to Investing or Space, call David Zak, Vice President of Economic Development at the Greater Springfield Chamber. (937) 631-5315 (cell), (937) 521-1935 (direct office), firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @springfieldedge, Blog: http://tinyurl.com/edgeblog, LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidzak.
If you/your client answered no to Investing and/or Space, but yes to Hiring, contact Amy Donahoe, Director of Hiring & Employer Services at the Greater Springfield Chamber. (937) 325-7621 or email@example.com. LinkedIn Profile: http://tinyurl.com/sedonahoelinkedin.
If you/your client answered no to Investing, Space, and/or Hiring but yes to Training, contact Duane Hodge, Program Manager for Business & Industry Training at Clark State Technical College. (937) 328-6063 or firstname.lastname@example.org. LinkedIn Profile: http://tinyurl.com/sehodgelinkedin.