The City of Gainesville, Florida, is committed to providing a facilitative environment in which to relocate and/or expand commercial enterprise citywide. To accomplish this goal, the city has created an economic development platform consisting of the following elements:
• A transparent development review process
• Creation of a cultural, social and technological climate that fosters a creative class live-work lifestyle
• City leadership focused on private-public partnerships
• Strong relationships with the University of Florida and Santa Fe College that foster collaborative economic and entrepreneurial development
• Provision of state and local incentives where applicable
These components collectively work to create a set of economic conditions that foster commercial development and growth while at the same time preserving the city’s unique and attractive quality of life.
In addition to city efforts, the following available state and local incentives enable local commercial development and growth opportunities while also contributing to Gainesville’s business-centric climate.
GRU’s Economic Development Rate
GRU’s Economic Development Rate is an incentive for larger business customers that want to establish or expand their presence in Gainesville. The program is open to new and existing general service, demand and large-power service customers that meet certain criteria.
Enterprise Zone Tax Savings
Tax savings are offered to businesses that are located in the Enterprise Zone if they are employing zone residents, building or rehabilitating real property or purchasing new business equipment. Companies can receive credits on their state sales tax, corporate income tax and property tax. In addition, local incentives include a 50-percent discount on development fees and the business license tax. (State of Florida Enterprise Zone incentives will sunset effective December 31, 2015; however, local incentives are currently being reviewed by the city commission for potential retention).
Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program
This State of Florida program provides a tax refund of up to $3,000 per new job created in Florida’s communities through the location of a new business or expansion of an existing business in certain industry sectors. To qualify, a company must create net new jobs, pay an average of at least 115 percent of area wages, have significant impact on the surrounding community, show its necessity and have local support. Local communities provide a local match for the program.
Industrial Revenue Bonds
This option provides bond issues for manufacturers (up to $10,000,000) for property acquisition, construction, machinery and equipment costs and certain soft costs.
Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency
The Gainesville CRA operates in four community redevelopment areas: Eastside, Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street, Downtown and College Park/University Heights. Redevelopment in a CRA area is an investment in a vibrant future for Gainesville’s urban core.