Does Your Company Qualify?

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This weekend I was catching up on my reading and saw in the October 4th edition of Miami Today that the Beacon Council had submitted applications on behalf of two companies seeking economic incentives for expansion in Miami.  I know one of the companies and could out them, but I’ll stay quiet and focus on the money they are receiving for merely staying in Miami.

According to the Miami Today, they will be receiving $414,000 in exchange for the creation of 112 jobs over the next 8 years.  The state will provide 80% of the money with the county paying about $10,350 annually for the 8 year period.

Apparently, the company is using the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund program because they are creating 112 jobs with an average salary of $67,000.  So how is this company getting the government to pay them?  They explored leaving Miami for Toronto, Canada.  While no one would logically move from our delicious winter climes for Toronto, this company made enough of a compelling argument that the county leaders weren’t willing to risk it.  Burger King and Ryder have also done this in the past to gain similar incentives.

You don’t need to threaten to leave town to get some help from our government.  There are  two programs that help existing Miami companies.  The first is Quick Response Training (QRT) Program which is a state-funded program.  If the jobs are equal to or more than the average minimum wage requirement of 115% of the State annual wage, or $45,834, your firm potentially qualifies.  The training services can be provided through Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, the Miami-Dade County Public School System or vocational-technical centers, consultants, or trainers from the business. The latter emphasis was mine because you could use your own trainers and potentially get some financial aid for the training.  I have recently just recommended this program to a new client.  I’ll let you know the results.

The other job training program is another state program called Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Program.  It focuses on current employees.  This grant program is funded by the Federal Workforce Investment Act and is administered by Workforce Florida, Inc. The goal is to keep the company’s employees competitive by providing them with new skills.  The government believes this helps to retain existing businesses.  Once again, you determine who will provide your training services.

If you are thinking about expanding your business and adding more employees, these programs might be useful.  If you need additional office space to house these new employees, call me.  Don’t expand directly with your landlord without using a strong tenant rep broker (that would be me) to insure that you have a fair deal because otherwise your landlord will easily have the upper hand.

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