WDGC’s Incentives Consulting Practice was established in 2009 to complete our menu of corporate Site Selection services. Although business incentives should never “drive” the location decision, these cost offsets can be instrumental toward the short- and long-term success of a project.
Potential Economic Development Incentives include:
A sample approach to our economic incentives consulting practice follows:
Stage One: Identification of Applicable Programs & Estimation of Potential Benefits
WDGC begins exploring potential business incentives once a Longlist (often 7-8) of qualified locations emerges from a systematic Screening Process. Potential incentives benefit values become integrated with other cost factors to help narrow the contending area to a Shortlist (frequently 3-4). WDGC conducts first hand assessment in shortlisted locations. We strive to validate operating conditions, including human resources, transportation, infrastructure, business costs, etc. Non-binding incentives quotations are submitted by local and state economic development agencies. Possible savings (cost offsets) are estimated and infused into our Comparative Cost Analysis.
Balancing cost and qualitative considerations, WDGC and the client reach a decision on the top location and best alternate. Formal Incentives Negotiations are then undertaken in Finalist locations (usually 2-3).
Stage Two: Formal Negotiations in Finalist Locations
Building upon the preliminary incentives estimates derived earlier in the site selection process, WDGC can now engage in direct, formal negotiations with appropriate organizations. These include EDOs, government agencies, utility companies, and education/training institutions.
Typically, a significant proportion of an incentives package will be tied to a specific site(s). Consequently, WDGC works closely with the client’s Real Estate, Engineering, and Environmental team members. We also interface with additional players including Operations, Technology, Finance, Legal, and Corporate Affairs. Throughout negotiations WDGC submits requests, critiques responses, engages in dialogue to enhance offers in writing, and projects multi-year savings (10-Year NPV Cash Flows).
Stage Three: Submit Application(s) and Execute Final Agreement (Administration)
The economic development incentives team works with a client’s project team to compile information and prepare all required Incentives Applications and a Formal Request for Incentives to be used in negotiations. WDGC then facilitates the Government Approvals, the drafting and Client Review of legal incentive agreements, and finalization of the economic incentives Procurement Process.
Since the approval of incentive benefits is typically based on the project’s formal commitment for job creation/retention and new capital investment, business incentive recipients are required to provide Progress Updates. As part of the economic incentives negotiations process, WDGC advises the client on the respective annual incentive Compliance Reporting, including government Contact Information, Sample Forms, and Trigger Dates for multi-year business incentive compliance requirements.
Unless WDGC has been retained to provide optional Stage Four services, the formal compliance monitoring and reporting is handled by the client’s Accounting, Tax or HR Personnel, with the WDGC team available to field questions.
Stage Four: Program Compliance
Once economic incentives negotiation is completed, formal commitments are established, applications submitted and approved, and legal agreements finalized, WDGC can set up formalized procedures to monitor Incentives Compliance metrics and follow-through requirements on the agreed upon commitment terms. Stage Four activities include:
- Setting up incentives administration and monitoring procedures relative to the terms of the incentives agreements, including reporting Deadline Reminders, assistance with Reporting Certifications (Audits), Application Renewals, and other jurisdictional requirements at prescribed times.
- Assessing the Opportunity to the company of new job and investment creation, as well as the impact of Claw Backs if job and investment thresholds are not met within time requirements established in the initial agreements.
- Periodic assessment of incentives Program Changes that may impact existing agreements or provide new opportunities as the company’s local strategy unfolds.
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WDGC stands ready to guide you through the alignment process to ensure that the overall site selection process advances your business objectives. Our role is flexible, we can either lead to the study team or provide selected expertise (e.g., labor market metrics) as a dedicated team member.