I recently had the chance to listen to Wen Sun describe the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) State Incentives Database during our session at C2ER’s annual conference.  Wen led the research team that compiled descriptions of nearly 1,800 different incentive programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  This is a valuable resource for economic development professionals.

The Incentives Database is organized and searchable by type (such as tax incentives, grants, etc.), business need (such as capital access, infrastructure, training, etc.) and geographic focus (enterprise zones, rural communities, etc.)

Economic developers can use the Database to:

  • List all programs within a single state that would be relevant to different types of companies
  • Compare a state’s offerings to those in other states in order to identify either gaps or competitive advantages
  • Identify other states that offer incentives that target the same industries as your state
  • Stay current on trends in incentive program development

The Database is updated twice per year and is only accessible to C2ER members.  You can learn more about how to join C2ER here.

Late last week C2ER also released the findings from its survey of state-level incentive program managers.  Two of the most interesting findings from the report are:

1) the number of state incentive programs has nearly doubled since 1999, when they first began to track these programs

2) 50% of programs distribute funds directly to businesses based on a promise to undertake a future action with an economic development impact

The growth in the number of programs is not surprising, but the fact that half of programs distribute funds based on expected future actions confirms the need for strong compliance and monitoring efforts.