Small Business Incentive Programs and Grants in Georgia
One of the salient benefits of starting a new business in Georgia is that the state provides different avenues for securing funding, especially for small businesses. You will have access to a variety of Georgia small business grant programs as well as other business incentive programs like Georgia tax incentives for small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). The programs are not tailor-made but can be helpful as every startup has an initial business formation and operational cost and this can vary according to the type of business activity and location. Let us look at some of the options that you can leverage.
Georgia tax incentives
As a new business, you can certainly leverage from different types of Georgia small business incentives programs especially when it comes to taxes. Once you form a business you may be required to file state and local taxes annually and the tax credits can help offset the total taxable amount thus helping you save money. There are different types of Georgia tax incentives programs offered by the Georgia Department of Revenue, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and Georgia Department of Economic Development. Let’s look at some of the top incentive programs.
- Job tax credits – The primary objective of the jobs tax credits programs is to help create new jobs in the state of Georgia and this helps in reducing or even eliminating your business tax liability. This is a Georgia tax incentives program administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and it gives businesses a tax credit for every new job created and ranges from $1,250 to $4,000 per year for 5 years. If your business is engaged in warehousing and distribution, manufacturing, processing, tourism, telecommunications, services, research and development, and even retail then you may qualify for this Georgia small business incentives tax credit program. The job tax credit program can be used for lowering any payroll withholding obligation for job creation.
- Quick start employee training – This is a Georgia small business incentives program where a business can leverage Workforce training programs in the state. It is also known as the Georgia Quick Start program and is a signature program of the state. There are no charges for this program and it is provided by the Technical College System of Georgia. This program can help you to hire and train skilled employees while doing business in Georgia.
- WorkSource Georgia – This is a Workforce Development program initiated by the Technical College System of Georgia. It is an employment and training program that is federally funded and its objective is to connect talent with an opportunity. This program is a part of the Georgia small business grants program known as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
- Georgia Centers of innovation – The Georgia Centers of Innovation (COI) is a different type of Georgia small business incentives program. It is the leading resource in the state for facilitating startup innovation. If you plan on doing business in Georgia then this program can be quite helpful as its objective is to help you to grow your business, launch new ideas, reshape the product line, and take your new business from an idea to its implementation. You will also get the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with some of the leading industry experts and Georgia business owners. There are 5 centers operational statewide and they are currently focusing on industry areas like Energy Technology, Aerospace, Logistics, Information Technology, and Manufacturing.
Are you thinking of starting a New Business in Georgia?
Invest Atlanta – Small business improvement grants
If you are wondering why Georgia, for a small business; you should check the Invest Atlanta initiative. This program is administered by the Atlanta economic development authority and its primary purpose is to strengthen the global competitiveness and economy of the city. The Small Business Improvement Grant is one of the several programs that are an integral part of the Invest Atlanta initiative. This Georgia small business grants program allows you as a small business owner to apply for a maximum grant of $20,000 for any form of interior and exterior improvements on your commercial property. There are certain guidelines for eligibility and they include:
- You have to use at least 50% of the allocated funds for exterior improvements
- Your improvement project should be less than 15,000 square feet
- The exterior improvements should be visible
- Some of the eligible exterior improvements include lighting, painting, doors, windows, signage, framing, awnings, canopies, fencing, gates, and landscaping among others.
- Some of the eligible interior improvement includes walls, plumbing, flooring, HVAC, ceilings, water heaters, and structural repairs among others.
Small Business Grants for women in Georgia
If you are a woman entrepreneur with a great startup idea and don’t know how to secure funds then Georgia small business grants for women is an opportunity worth applying for. The most popular among such grants is the Amber Grant for Women where-in you can qualify for a grant award of $10,000. Once you get the grant award, you will be automatically eligible for winning the year-end grant award of $25,000. The purpose of this grant is to help empower women business owners who are planning to start a business or are currently doing business in Georgia.
State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)
The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is a state lending program administered and overseen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This is one of the leading Georgia small business incentives programs that is focused on supporting small businesses as well as manufacturers. There are several financial and business programs available under the SSBCI initiative and this may vary from one state to another. If you are doing business in Georgia then you can leverage two Georgia SSBCI programs, which are:
- Georgia Loan Participation Program (GA LPP) – This is a type of Georgia small business grant or loan program where the state will purchase participation in an approved loan, up to a maximum of 25%. The loans should ideally range from $100,000 to $5,000,000 and the existing maximum participation amount in Georgia is $250,000.
- Georgia Small Business Credit Guaranty (SBCG) – This is another SSBCI program, which is considered a 50% loan guarantee program. The current maximum loan amount in Georgia is $400,000 and there is a guarantee of $200,000.
The availability and access to capital through grants and loans is one of the reasons why Georgia for small business is an entrepreneur’s choice. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are mostly engaged in providing options for small businesses lending in the state to help entrepreneurs in creating and grow sustainable businesses. Some of the top CDFIs offering loans are:
There is another option for Georgia small business grants and loans and that is to approach the Small Business Lenders and Micro Lenders Community. You can get small loans anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000.
Rural Business Loans
If you are planning to set up your business in rural Georgia and are looking for financial aid opportunities then there are several options. The most recommended is the Rural Business Development Grants administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development. This is a Georgia small business grants program designed towards providing technical training and assistance to rural businesses. If you are doing business in Georgia and you have less than 50 new employees and your gross revenue is less than $1 million then you will be qualified to apply for this grant.
Federal Grants & Loans
As a first-time business owner or an entrepreneur, the need for funding is integral to the sustainability of a business. The U.S. government offers Federal Grants & Loans in different states including Georgia to ensure financial aid is available to small businesses. Some of the popular Georgia small business grants and funding options available include: