The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), through its Office of Rural Development (ORD), provides incentives, grants and resources to rural businesses. The office works with local governments, organizations and companies in Utah’s rural counties to provide programs that sustain businesses and improve employment opportunities.
“Our office is committed to seeing rural Utah businesses and individuals succeed. We have programs to help at every end of the spectrum, from startup to well-established businesses,” says Ginger Chinn, managing director for urban and rural business services.
This year, the Utah Legislature authorized two additional initiatives, the Rural Coworking & Innovation Center Grant and the Rapid Response Manufacturing program. Funding for these new rural initiatives will be available in July 2019.
Following is a list of incentives and grants that Utah’s Office of Rural Development provides:
Business Expansion And Retention (BEAR)
This program is designed to assist rural community leaders and service providers with targeted business outreach to facilitate economic growth. BEAR is designed to help grow new and existing rural businesses, influence rural job creation, and increase economic diversity in rural regions. The BEAR grant is available to rural county economic development offices, Tribes, Associations of Governments, Business Resource Centers, Small Business Development Centers, and organizations primarily engaged in economic development efforts in Utah’s rural areas.
Enterprise Zone Nonprofit
This program encourages nonprofit organizations (501c3 only) to develop projects that have a positive community and economic impact in rural Enterprise Zone Areas.
- Up to $75,000 in tax credit allocation caps each year for qualifying projects.
- Up to 50 percent tax credit for donors to qualifying projects.
Enterprise Zone Tax Credits
This program is designed for businesses seeking to expand or relocate to rural Utah.
- Incremental tax credits for new jobs paying above average county wage.
- Capital investment tax credits.
Recycling Market Development Zone Tax Credits
This program encourages businesses to reduce or reuse post-consumer waste material.
- Five percent income tax credit on the cost of machinery and equipment.
- 20 percent income tax credit on eligible operating expenses.
Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI)
This program is designed for businesses creating new high paying jobs in counties of the fourth, fifth or sixth class (populations of less than 31,000). These jobs can be remote, in a satellite hub/office, or physically located in the same county as the business.
Rural Fast Track (RFT)
This program provides an efficient way for existing, small companies to receive incentives for creating high paying jobs in the rural areas of the state, promoting business and economic development.
- Up to $50,000 in grant funding for qualified projects.
- Incremental funding for new jobs paying above average county wage.
Targeted Business Tax Credits
This program encourages private investment and the creation of jobs in rural Utah.
- Available in counties with populations of 25,000 or less.
- Up to $100,000 in tax credits per eligible project.
Utah Rural Jobs Program
This program enables qualified small businesses located in a rural county to expand and create high wage jobs by providing flexible and affordable capital. Eligible small businesses must:
- Have fewer than 150 employees.
- Have a net income of less than $10,000,000 in the previous year.
- Be located in a rural Utah county.
Most ORD programs require application, review, award notice and contracting with the state before a project commences. After the project’s completion, the reimbursement process begins.
For additional information on rural programs, visit business.utah.gov/rural.