INCENTIVE ALERT: Navigating existing incentives in an economic downturn

State and local officials proactively address incentive compliance concerns


As corporate leaders navigate the initial waves of the economic downturn, the primary focus has been on sustaining their business and retaining workforce. With an unprecedented crisis upon us, forecasting tomorrow seems nearly impossible. For those companies with existing incentive agreements, dealing with compliance in this uncertain period has become an ever-daunting challenge.

When it comes to existing government incentive agreements, a significant downward path in the economy immediately makes compliance difficult. Government incentives develop a partnership between companies and communities to make joint commitments towards a mutual goal. Companies often pledge to create new jobs and invest capital, while the community offers grants, tax concessions, and financial support in exchange. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances can lead to either side not being able to meet their end of the deal.

To support their local businesses as they diligently work towards survival, states and communities are helping companies mitigate compliance risks by modifying, reviewing, and even relieving them from their incentive commitments. At the same time, businesses can leverage proven strategies to directly address the challenges ahead with their local economic development officials.

Below are examples of program and policy shifts in the United States by state and local governments to support businesses with existing incentive agreements through these challenging times. For more information on these programs, as well as, other economic recovery incentives around the world, please visit our new resource online:


Program and Policy Shifts by State & Local Governments

State of Illinois

Recognizing the incredible challenges facing companies in the Land of Lincoln, state officials have joined are extending deadlines for key incentive program reporting.

For businesses required to submit annual Illinois Corporate Accountability reports, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is extending the filing deadline from April 15th to May 15th. Under law, any business receiving economic development assistance from a state granting body must report annually on the progress of employment commitments related to a project.

To learn more about the filing deadline extension, visit the Illinois Corporate Accountability website.

State of Maine

State officials in Maine are joining their midwestern counterparts in extending report filing deadlines for businesses with existing incentive programs.

If needed, companies may now file reports for the Pine Tree Development Zone and Employment Tax Increment Financing programs by May 1st. The original deadline was April 15th.

For companies requiring additional information and/or may need additional time, they are encouraged to contact Maine Department of Economic and Community Development’s Tax Incentives Programs office immediately.

State of New Jersey

With the quickly shifting workplace environment, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has waived certain provisions for several incentive program compliance requirements.

Multiple incentive programs administered by NJEDA require eligible employees to spend at least 80 percent of their time at a qualified business facility. Under the recent executive order, companies may instead prove that employees are working full time via their work from home policies.

More information for companies is available on the NJEDA website.