business and community
Though Lee County attracts top companies because of its exceptional access, workforce and quality of life, community leaders have also developed a number of financing programs to help business and the community grow together.
:: The Lee County Package
The Lee County Economic Development Corp. in cooperation with governing bodies for the Town of Broadway, the City of Sanford and Lee County may provide financial incentives for companies seeking to relocate or expand business in Lee County.
The incentive is based on the quality of jobs created and the amount of investment in the community. Tthe policy allows flexibility in creating an incentive plan based on the particular proposal being considered.
:: Local Revolving Loan Funds
Low-interest business expansion loans may be available through two local funds designed to assist capital expansion and other initiatives to create jobs and enhance opportunity.
Lee County EDC Small Business Loan Fund, created in cooperation with USDA Rural Development, accepts applications for $10,000 to the amount available in the fund. As loans are repaid, money in the fund becomes available to assist other companies.
Lee County County Revolving Loan Fund, created in cooperation with the Golden Leaf Foundation, accepts applications for $50,000 to $200,000.
:: Urban Progress Zone
One Urban Progress Zone (UPZ) approved for Lee County allows an additional $1,000 per-job tax credit beyond tax credits already available as part of North Carolina's Article 3J program (see below) for a total per-job tax credit of $6,000. An additional 7 percent tax credit is available in the UPZ for investment in qualifying business property.
Two Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) have been designed in Sanford by the U.S. Small Business Administration to promote job growth, capital investment and economic development in these areas. Small businesses in the two zones (census tracts 0302.00 and 0303.00) may qualify for preferential consideration in federal contracting and may receive higher surety bond guarantees.
:: Free Industrial Training
Many companies qualify for free customized in-plant training and training for new and expanding industries provided by Central Carolina Community College, one of the state's largest community colleges.
:: North Carolina's 'Article 3J' Credits
State incentives under the Credits for Growing Businesses program, also known as "Article 3J Credits," include tax credits for creating jobs, investing in business property and, in some counties, investing in real property. Credits may be combined to offset up to 50 percent of state income and franchise tax liability, and unused credits may be carried forward up to five years.
To qualify in Lee County, growing businesses must create 10 or more full-time jobs or invest at least $1 million in busiess property.
:: Additional Financing Options
Financing options include state assistance from Industrial Revenue Bonds, Community Development Block Grants, the One North Carolina Fund and Job Development Investment Grants. Also, the Industrial Access/Road Access Fund, the Rail Industrial Access Program, the North Carolina Ports Income Tax Credit and federal Small Business Administration loans.