When Gov. Mark Dayton introduced his two-year budget plan last year, he made it clear that one of his highest priorities was to create jobs and make Minnesota more attractive for businesses. He proposed a number of tools, including the Minnesota Job Creation Fund, which recently began taking applications from qualified businesses.
Officials estimate the $25 million program will create 5,000 jobs and attract $450 million in private investments to the state. What’s more, they emphasize the program is accountable and transparent.
The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is accountable because it’s a pay-for-performance initiative. That is, companies that qualify for the program can get financial benefits only if they first meet certain criteria, including creating a specific number of jobs at certain salary levels, investing some of their own money and gaining local government support. If they don’t achieve those goals, they won’t qualify for funding.
The program is transparent because, unlike tax incentive programs where some records cannot be made public, the benefits each firm receives from the Minnesota Job Creation Fund will be readily available for public consumption.
The program is also fair and responsible. Companies in every area of the state will be eligible for funding. And incentives will be capped, with maximum awards generally at no more than $1 million.
Businesses must create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 to be eligible for financial assistance under the program. Funding is available for businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, technology and other eligible activities. Companies must work with the local government (city, county or township) where a project is located to apply to DEED to receive designation as a Job Creation Fund business.More details about the program, including application materials, are available on the DEED website at www.tinyurl.com/JobCreationFund .