Local, state, and federal tax credits, incentives, and loans are designed to make doing business in Fresno even more affordable. But piecing together an incentive package that’s right for your business can be complex, even daunting; our team is here to evaluate all the options for your development project or business, large or small. We can also answer questions and guide you through the application process on any of these programs, including those available at the state and federal levels.
Local, State & Federal Incentives
Development Project Abatements & Initiatives
LOCAL Impact Fee Waivers
Impact fees are one-time charges that the local government imposes on developers to pay for city infrastructure and services including fire and police. Impact fees are intended to fund the same level of services for residents as the community grows. The City has enacted legislation to allow the reduction and abatement of development impact fees project types through the iDIFER Act, the Commercial BUILD Act, the Southwest Revitalization Incentive Program, and the Economically Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Act.
Resource Efficiency & Incentive Programs
Planning entitlement fee reductions for minor deviations from development standards (i.e., parking, setbacks, etc.) for “green” buildings that are sustainable and environmentally responsible.
These fees are assessed by the Planning and Development department; if you’re considering a site purchase or development, contact our team using the form at the bottom of this page to evaluate a development project for eligibility.
LOCAL Measure C Funding for Transit-Oriented Development
Based on the 2015 Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the Measure C Extension, approximately $16.9 million will be released over 20 years to support projects within 1⁄2 mile of an existing bus stop or a proposed bus stop/High-Speed Rail station. Approximately $850,000 is released annually for the Fresno region although the funding level for each cycle will differ year to year. City and County governments in Fresno County are eligible to apply; private sector or non-profit organizations can apply for the TOD funding through a representative of the local government where the project is located. No local match is required.
Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC)
The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, funded by State cap-and-trade dollars programmed through California Climate Investments (CCI), helps reduce GHG emissions specifically by increasing the supply of affordable housing near jobs, amenities, and transportation. AHSC is an important funding source for communities seeking to implement sustainable development practices. It provides low-interest loans and grants for offsite improvements. Applicants must meet specific scoring requirements.
STATE Multifamily Housing Program
Deferred payment loans with a 55-year term at 3 percent simple interest to assist in the new construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of permanent and transitional rental housing for lower-income households.
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Tax Reductions & Industry-Specific Incentives
STATE Governor’s Economic Development Initiative (GEDI) Program
- New Employment Credit for up to 5 years for qualified businesses in the Designated Geographic Area (DGA) that hire qualified employees and pay them a qualified wage.
- Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Manufacturing, Biotech, and R&D
- Sales tax exemption to qualified businesses who purchase qualified equipment.
- California Competes Tax Credit
Flexible income tax credit on a competitive basis to qualified businesses. This credit is negotiated between the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and businesses who are looking to move to, or stay and grow, in California.
STATE Advanced Transportation and Manufacturing Sales and Use Tax Exclusion
The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) provides a full sale and use tax exclusion for advanced manufacturers and manufacturers of alternative sources, recycled feedstock, and advanced transportation products, components, or systems.
STATE Incentives for Manufacturers
The state offers different incentives for projects deploying under or over $20 million in capital expenditures. You can download the current list here.
STATE Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) Program
Combines recycling with economic development to fuel new businesses, expand existing ones, create jobs, and divert waste from landfills. This program provides attractive loans, technical assistance, and free product marketing to businesses that use materials from the waste stream to manufacture their products and are located in a zone.
STATE Joe Serna Jr., Farmworker Housing Program
Deferred-payment loans to finance the new construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of owner-occupied and rental units for agricultural workers, with a priority for lower-income households. Open to local government agencies, nonprofit corporations, cooperative housing corporations, limited partnerships where all the general partners are nonprofit mutual or public benefit corporations, and federally recognized Indian tribes.
FEDERAL Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)
Merchandise stored, manufactured, or assembled within the FTZ area is considered to be international commerce. Businesses that import or export a significant amount of materials or products in an FTZ are able to delay, reduce or eliminate customs duties on imported goods.
FEDERAL Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone)
Administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a HUBZone is designed to stimulate economic development and create jobs in urban and rural communities by providing Federal contracting preferences to small businesses. The HUBZone applies to qualified small businesses, located within the zone’s boundaries, with at least 35% of their employees residing in a HUBZone. The City of Fresno’s HUBZone is defined by qualified census tracts.
LOCAL PG&E Enhanced Economic Development Rate (E-EDR)
For qualifying businesses expanding or locating in Fresno or Fresno County, Pacific Gas & Electric offers a reduction of industrial electrical rates of up to 25% for up to five years.
Hiring & Workforce Development
LOCAL New Employment Opportunities (NEO) Program
Ready2Hire offers full or partial reimbursement for wages paid to employees hired through the program for the first 6 months. This program can sometimes be extended for up to a whole year.
STATE Governor’s Economic Development Initiative (GEDI) Program: New Employment Credit
Tax credit for up to five years to businesses who hire qualified employees for wages paid between 150% – 350% of minimum wage.
STATE Employment Training Panel (ETP)
Provides funding to help upskill your employees. Training is customized to meet the needs of the employers and provide high-wage, high-skill, secure jobs for workers. Employers get to decide which workers need training, design their own training plan, and select their own trainer.
FEDERAL Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from one of 10 targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. In some cases, retroactive credits are available.
Small Business Grants & Other Support
LOCAL Free Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Inspection
Small Businesses may be eligible for a FREE ADA Access Inspection. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to provide goods and services to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the public. Existing businesses and facilities that have not been modified or altered in any way since the passage of the ADA still have the obligation to bring their facilities into compliance when readily achievable. A Certified Access Specialist (CASp) can help determine if your facility is access compliant and help you avoid a costly lawsuit. Once your application has been approved, the City will connect you with a qualified Certified Access Specialist to conduct an inspection – at no cost to a business. Inspection Value is $1,500. You can find a list of CASps and more information about the statewide CASp program on the Division of the State Architect website.
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP LISC Rural Relief Small Business Grants
Available to small businesses in rural communities with a population of 50,000 or less. A community is defined as the city/town/village where your business address is located.
FEDERAL Coronavirus Relief Options
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides forgivable loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID 19) crisis.
- COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- Shuttered Venue Grant Program (SVO) $15 billion in grants for shuttered entertainment venues established by The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020.
- SBA Express Bridge Loan
- SBA Debt Relief