Last month the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) hosted the Designing and Managing Business Incentive Compliance Efforts workshop. Ellen Harpel, Smart Incentives, and Jane Vancil, IncentiLock, served as course advisors and lead instructors. In this article, guest author Jane Vancil describes the inaugural workshop.

November’s virtual workshop on best practices in economic development incentive compliance was designed to create a network of state incentive professionals to share ideas, experiences, and challenges.

Members of agency incentive compliance teams from twelve states attended, viewed video recordings produced by four states, and engaged in discussions that followed a roadmap leading from execution of incentive awards through collection and interpretation of data and concluding with uses of data by legislators and interested parties. 

Incentive Compliance Roadmap

The workshop was spread across four afternoons and each consisted of two sessions that supported a particular topic:

  • Setting the stage for compliance
  • Incentive program and project data options
  • Best practices in incentive compliance management
  • Deploying the data to legislators and interested parties

A key component of the practical workshop was a “return to work” or take-a-way exercise. Each participant chose a focus from one of the following areas–data, procedures, results–and prepared a written outline describing a project that could be undertaken after the workshop to effect change in their compliance approach that would lead to process improvement when implemented. 

Participants were given access to CREC’s learning management system where resources, templates, videos, and other information were added over the course of the four days. 

The workshop culminated with a sharing of each participant’s completed exercise and an open discussion of suggestions from the group. Participants welcomed the sharing of attendee contact information to facilitate a continued discussion around best practices in incentive compliance—especially with program and compliance changes likely to be affected by the pandemic stress imposed upon agencies and companies.

Please see the course testimonials below. We look forward to building on the success of this workshop with additional compliance programming in 2021. Look for details in the coming weeks!  

This was a wonderful workshop. I learned so much from you and the folks from the other states.

This was a wonderfully insightful course and I would recommend it.

Great topics; really well organized; highly interactive.

It was great to hear from other agencies and staff at all levels dealing with the same complexities of incentive management.

Great course!