Among many initiatives, the City of Lawrence assists businesses through its economic development assistance programs, such as the following:
Fast access to commercial and industrial space availability.
Large project financing at below market rates. Section 108 provides communities with a source of financing for economic development projects. All projects and activities must either principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons, aid in the elimination or prevention of slums and blight, or meet urgent needs of the community. The principal security for the loan guarantee is a pledge by the City of its current and future CDBG funds. Additional security will also be required to assure repayment of the guarantee obligations, including assets financed by the guaranteed loans. The maximum repayment period for a Section 108 loan is 20 years. This program is expected to leverage, but not replace, private sector financing through a partnership in the overall financing requirement.
Storefront Improvement Program
Up to $40,000 in deferred loan for commercial loan improvements loan is forgivable after ten years.The Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) provides up to 75% of funding (up to $40,000) for businesses in designated districts to improve their storefronts. Eligible improvements include: exterior painting, repointing, cleaning, replacement of original architectural features, removal of existing signs and installation of new signs. Also, included, if approved, at no cost, are architectural and design related fees. Click Here for information on the Storefront of the Month Program.
Economic Opportunity Area Tax Incentive Program
For projects located within an Economic Opportunity Area (EOA) which retain or create jobs and create additional tax value in that property, a company may apply for certification of the project. Certification by the City and State will qualify the company for State and Municipal tax incentives. Additional incentives are given for projects which are aimed at abandoned buildings.
Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund
These low interest loans to developers of Brownfields Properties, encourage the redevelopment of contaminated industrial properties.
Workforce Training Initiatives
Through the Merrimack Valley Regional Employment Board, companies can receive financial assistance to train and re-train employees.
Renewal Community Tax Incentives
In December 2000, Lawrence was chosen, along with forty other communities across the Unied States., to receive Federal designation as Renewal Community (RC) district. This designation provides tax credit incentives to attract and retain businesses to various districts through out the city. For additional information, please visit the Housing and Urban Development's Community Renewal Initiative Program website.