Pricey Harrison

Friday, May 20, 2005

Senate Backs Creation Of New Small Business Fund

Money would be set aside from Gov. Mike Easley's economic incentives fund to assist small businesses with federal grant applications or to provide matching funds in a bill recommended Wednesday by a Senate committee. The measure would allow state officials to divert money from the One North Carolina Fund toward a new One North Carolina Small Business Fund. The One North Carolina Fund has been used by the governor to enhance corporate packages designed to encourage out-of-state companies to create jobs in the state.

Under the legislation, small businesses looking to expand with a new product or service could receive up to $3,000 from the new fund to offset half the costs of filing a grant proposal seeking federal funds for small business research or technology development. State funds also could be used for up to $100,000 in matching funds for businesses that win these grants. The proposal would extend the life of the state's Job Development Investment Grant program through 2007. Companies using the JDIG program are given back a portion of state withholding taxes generated by jobs they have created. A state panel would determine which firms receive the incentive.

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