Friday, March 25, 2011

Does the Cost of An Incentives Consultant Outweigh The Benefits? Part II

In my earlier post, I discussed how a business may consider using an Incentives Consultant to help guide them through the incentives process. To continue this discussion, I urge you to consider the potential consultant's experience with tax incentive programs and their associated requirements.

After your project has been approved by the grantor agency and an agreement has been negotiated, you may wish to continue your relationship with your current consultant, hire a new consultant, or utilize your staff to monitor and prepare the required compliance reports.  Whichever strategy you choose for this stage, ensure that the person(s) assigned to your project is truly knowledgeable of your project’s compliance requirements.  This is extremely important, as this is the part of the incentives process where you begin receiving your scheduled payments.  Again, in order for you to achieve any benefit, your consultant should be knowledgeable of economic development incentives and their requirements.  Your consultant should also be efficient, to ensure accurate and timely reporting. Essentially, your consultant’s goal is to ensure that you maximize your incentives payments.

Based on my experience, a business may be justified in hiring a professional consultant to assist with obtaining government incentives. A business should also consider whether it is better to use a consultant to assist with the monitoring and reporting functions of the business' compliance requirements. If your consultant adds value to the incentives process for your company, I believe the benefits outweigh the cost.

If you believe an incentives consultant will make participation in the incentives process, contact me at

Monday, March 21, 2011

Does the Cost of An Incentives Consultant Outweigh The Benefits? Part I

Is your company embarking on a new business venture (business start-up, expansion or relocation)? Have you considered sharing the cost of your next business venture with the government? Have you considered the amount of effort required to obtain, monitor and report your benchmarks? Consequently, have you considered the associated costs?
Many businesses seek and are approved government incentives or grants to fund a variety of growth projects. Once a business has determined that a project is viable, key staff may be assigned the task of researching and negotiating available incentives or grants in the areas the company is considering.  Some organizations may hire a professional consultant to guide them through the incentive acquisition & negotiations process.  Since many businesses have limited personnel and time constraints, hiring a professional would free their employees to fulfill their ongoing business obligations. Naturally during these low economic times, though, companies may weigh the cost of hiring an Incentives Consultant to the benefits.

To justify the cost of hiring a professional consultant, your company must evaluate if the prospective consultant is experienced and knowledgeable about incentive programs and their associated requirements.  Once your business has established a viable project, your consultant should research available incentives in the areas you are considering. The consultant should be responsible for evaluating the compliance requirements of each available incentive/grant, and determine if your business can possibly meet the proposed benchmarks.  The consultant should be knowledgeable of the overall incentives process and should be able to guide you from application to closeout. 

See the second part of this post, which provides some more details about considering an Incentive Consultants.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Top economist: Florida economy ready for takeoff"

Florida Trend article, "Top economist: Florida economy ready for takeoff" written by Dale White (Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 6:29 a.m.) highlighted a cautiously optimistic picture of Florida's economy.

I believe this article should interest Florida businesses, as it gives us hope that Florida's economy is rebounding and the likelihood of job growth is high.  I am optimistic! 
For small businesses, this is also good news!  A growth in the State's economy usually produces new growth opportunities for small businesses.  Have you considered the wealth of new opportunities that may occur for your business?  Attracting these opportunities, of course, may require some creativity on your part.  Have you considered how your business will rebound? 
Will you need to hire new employees?
What about training for your existing employees?
As you think about the endless possibilities (get creative), remember that the State provides funding in the form of tax credits, tax refunds and grants to assist businesses with their growth and training efforts.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Quick End to Winter" - AOL News

"How does this benefit me," you ask? Well, on February 2, 2011, the ground hog (Punxsutawney Phil) cast a shadow, which signaled that SPRING IS COMING!

Now you may be wondering what spring has to do with the Economic Gardening Loan Program. Doesn't the thought of spring jog pictures gentler weather and flowers blooming? Generally speaking, spring makes us think of GROWTH. And I would be amiss if I didn't think of the GROWTH we can achieve as small business owners.
This leads me into my discussion of Florida's
Economic Gardening Loans.  This loan program was created to stimulate investment by Florida’s small businesses 

Loans are provided to qualified 'stage 2' businesses meeting the following criteria:
·  Revenues between $1 - $25 million, with
·  10 – 50 employees

You receive up to $250,000 to be used for the following:
·   Working capital purchases,
·   Employee training, or
·   Salaries for new Florida jobs

The Economic Gardening Loan is to be paid in 4 years, with a 2% interest rate.  Only interest is paid in year one.

Is the Economic Gardening Loan program an option for your business?  Contact me at to find out!