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Targeting incentives to small businesses
Eli Dile   on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 9:00:00 am

A Kauffman Foundation survey reveals a commonly held perception among entrepreneurs and small business owners – that government only cares about large corporations. That sentiment is often evidenced by the way governments and EDOs award incentives: they disproportionately benefit large companies, according to more than 75 percent of small business owners surveyed (Good Jobs First). What’s more, over half of those surveyed said they do not take advantage of existing government support programs, which suggests these efforts are ill-targeted toward the true needs of businesses.

Economic development organizations are doing more to direct incentive dollars toward qualified smaller operations. Go Topeka in Kansas administers the Topeka/Shawnee County Small Business Incentive, a four-pronged support program for eligible brick-and-mortar and home-based businesses. The incentive package includes:

Employee Training Grants: Offering up to $750 per employee to obtain certifications and skills training.

Equipment Purchases: Up to $5,000 for new or used machinery.

Construction and Renovations: Covers half the cost of building renovation or constructing a new property, up to $5,000.

Marketing: A one-time grant of $750 for websites, newspaper, radio, or other advertising vehicles.

For more examples of small business incentives at the state level, check out this list from Smart Incentives.

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