Obtaining funding is always the first priority for a business looking to expand. However, many business owners overlook programs that can help them make the most of the funding that they do receive. It’s important to be aware of business incentives available to you–often, there are local or state programs available that will help you make informed decisions about expansion or even provide financial benefits to expanding businesses.
One example of this in our home state of Pennsylvania, where there are numerous programs available to help businesses who are looking to open a new location. Pennsylvania has several areas that are designated as Keystone Opportunity Zones; in these areas, the state government is trying to encourage development by offering minimal state and local taxes on new development. Since 1999, the KOZ program has appealed to owners by offering reductions or negation of everything from income taxes to property taxes, both of which are great business incentives. For employees, the program helps by encouraging job creation and promoting local commercial development in previously struggling localities. It’s a win for everyone, as owners can open new businesses and expand with little risk, jobs are created for local residents, and the government revitalizes areas that were stagnant.
While the Keystone Opportunity Zone program is obviously quite useful to businesses interested in particular locations in Pennsylvania, it’s also not going to be right for everyone. Maybe you already have a specific place in mind for expansion, or you’re not looking to open a new location right now. Pennsylvania also offers more general assistance programs for business owners who are looking for help with running their business and making the most of their available resources.
One of these programs is called PREP (Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance). Some of the services PREP offers are for brand-new businesses, but many can be useful to more established business owners as well. PREP offers help with a variety of things; they can help you write a business plan, decide whether it’s worth investing in new equipment for your business, or even get training for your employees. It’s able to quickly connect businesses with local resources, because it has ten offices for different regions in Pennsylvania, each of which specializes in their local area. Whether you’re in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or Altoona, there’s an office that can help you get the most out of your business.
If you’re a business looking to expand in Pennsylvania, obtaining funding is obviously your number one priority. However, it can be almost as important to make sure you’re taking full advantage of that funding. There’s no reason to miss out on tax breaks when they’re freely available for expanding businesses. If you can find a way to train your employees and improve your efficiency at a low cost, that can help you get more value out of any business funding you do obtain and make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success in the long run.