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Minnesota launches new $24 million job creation fund

  • Blog Post by: Adam Belz
  • January 10, 2014 - 4:24 PM

Minnesota is now ready to award money under a new business incentives program that state officials announced Friday.

The $24 million Minnesota Job Creation Fund, proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton and passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2013, will replace the state’s JOBZ program, which is set to expire in 2015.

The new fund offers up to $1 million -- and in some cases as much as $2 million -- to businesses after they meet certain criteria. Businesses must create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 in their own developments, among other things, to be eligible.

The state estimates the program will  create an estimated 5,000 new jobs and attract another $450 million in private investment.

The details are here, but to be designated a Job Creation Fund business, a business must, at minimum:

• Be engaged in an eligible business activity
• Obtain local government support for their project via council resolution
• Invest at least $500,000 in real property improvements within one year of becoming a designated Job Creation Fund business
• Create at least 10 new full-time permanent jobs within two years of becoming a Job Creation Fund business while maintaining existing employment numbers
• Pay at least $12.45 in wages and benefits adjusted annually based on 110 percent of federal poverty guidelines
• Have other location options outside of Minnesota
• Cause no undue harm to Minnesota business competitors
• Certify that the project would not occur without Job Creation Fund assistance

Projects that begin prior to becoming designated by DEED are not eligible for the Job Creation Fund.

Once a business meets all the criteria listed and gets all the paperwork out of the way it can receive:

• $1000 per year per job created for jobs paying at least $26,000 in cash wages
• $2000 per year per job created for jobs paying at least $35,000 in cash wages
• $3000 per year per job created for jobs paying at least $45,000 in cash wages
• Up to a 5 percent rebate for real property improvements for businesses located in the Twin Cities Metro
• Up to a 7.5 percent rebate for real property improvements for business located in Greater Minnesota

“Over the last three years Minnesota has added more than 122,700 new jobs, regaining all the jobs that were lost during the Great Recession,” Dayton said in a statement. “But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels now. The strength of our economy and the security of middle class Minnesota families depend on the investments we make today to accelerate job growth and get every Minnesotan back to work. Every job matters; and that is why initiatives like the Minnesota Job Creation Fund are so important.”

© 2014 Star Tribune