Businesses seeking assistance are advised to have their business description in place. It is especially helpful to have the following:
- NAICS or SIC number (from your accountant or Dept. of Labor)
- Investment (building, equipment-including transportation machinery)
- Employment (immediate and projected over 2 to 5 years)
- Location or site requirements (size, utilities, transportation, etc.)
- Lease or purchase and terms
Bristol has a long history of partnering and working with business. Today it has a unique grant program for manufacturing, research, and distribution businesses that are making a significant investment in the community. The City also can make Enterprise Zone and other tax incentives available to qualified applicants.
Combined with SBA or other financing programs most companies have found Bristol a great place to locate. Finding skilled workers has been facilitated by our Department of Labor and Chamber of Commerce.
The City has a State Enterprise Zone (Connecticut General Statutes 32-70) to attract redevelopment, renewed investment, and job opportunities to the zone. It is especially suited to manufacturers.
The Enterprise Zone is managed and administered by the State Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Any business in the zone that meets the DECD criteria is eligible to receive the zone’s tax benefits.
There are two business benefits associated with an Enterprise Zone location:
- A five-year, 80% abatement of local property taxes on qualifying real and personal property
- A ten-year, 25% credit on that portion of the state’s corporation business tax that is directly attributable to a business expansion or renovation project.
Newly formed corporations located in a zone qualify for a 100% corporate tax credit for their first three taxable years and a 50% tax credit for the next seven taxable years. The corporation must have: (1) at least 375 employees - at least 40% of which are either zone residents or are residents of the municipality and who qualify for the Workforce Investment Act, or (2) have less than 375 employees - at least 150 of which are zone residents or are residents of the municipality and who qualify for the Workforce Investment Act.
Non-manufacturing properties, usually retail and residential, making substantial improvements in the Enterprise Zone (please see the ordinance) may be entitled to a freeze on their real property taxes (similar to a tax abatement) at the following schedule:
- Year one: 100%
- Year two: 100%
- Year three: 50%
- Year four: 40%
- Year five: 30%
- Year six: 20%
- Year seven: 10%
The Urban Jobs Program is available outside the geographic boundaries of the Enterprise Zone to certain companies, as well as the Qualified Manufacturing Zone and Bioscience Zone. Some are by right (qualification by application), others are discretionary with a high degree of acceptance by the City of Bristol. But you must apply. The building on the property at 360 James P. Casey Road (the former GM plant, now the Bristol Business Center) is a Qualified Manufacturing Plant. Businesses that qualify under the state enterprise program for manufacturing and distribution uses will qualify for the same benefits by right. Please see the ECD for an application.
Locating your business in Bristol’s bioscience zone carries with it substantial advantages for both income and property taxes. On May 14, 2010, Connecticut’s Governor established Connecticut’s bioscience enterprise zone, which includes Hartford, as well as a corridor that runs through New Britain, Bristol and Farmington. The zone provides tax advantages to attract businesses engaged in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or photonics research, development or production, with not more than 300 employees.
City-Town Development Act
The City-Town Development Act is in effect in Bristol for other businesses, usually certain services that do not qualify under the Urban Jobs or Enterprise Zone Programs that will allow new construction to qualify for a six year formula declining scale based upon the square foot size of the development and number of jobs created. Please contact the Economic and Community Development Department regarding this program.
Economic Development Assistance Grants
Economic Assistance Grants from the City of Bristol for new construction, expansions, and relocation may be available to basic industries such as manufacturing, distribution, research facilities and company headquarters. The amount awarded is determined by making a written application (available from the Economic and Community Development Department) that examines the ratable investment being made by the company in buildings, improvements, equipment and transportation. The application is reviewed by staff and approved through an economic development committee, the City Council, the Board of Finance and Joint Board. The grant program has proven to be unique but the number of companies assisted has been substantial.
There are few grants for start-up companies and retail operations. Most are geographically centered and based on bricks and mortar projects such as facade improvements for a neighborhood commercial district, not for operational expenses.
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Commercial Rehab Grant Program may have funds for exterior improvements. Recipients must follow Davis-Bacon wage laws and comply with job creation or lie within a distressed area.
The staff is pleased to make an introduction and referral to lending sources. Some programs may offer favorable terms. These include the Connecticut Community Investment Corporation (CTCIC), Small BusinessAdministration (SBA) approved lenders, local banks, Connecticut Development Authority (CDA), and State ofConnecticut programs and other loan funds. It is our experience that most financing will come through your business developing a relationship with a local or regional lender.
* Grant awards depend upon the availability of funding, the investment being made by a company, and
the completeness of an application. Tax abatements are made according to state law as may be enacted
Energy Programs for Businesses in Connecticut (Click at left)
Many state and federal programs exist to assist Connecticut business owners with efforts to become more energy efficient, save money on energy expenses, and increase their competitiveness in a challenging marketplace. From tax incentives to loans and grants, there are programs that address the concerns of new, expanding, and existing businesses.