Lawmakers Eye $18.5M Job Creation Fund

Posted at: 04/03/2013 9:28 PM
Updated at: 04/04/2013 3:19 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- Some state lawmakers have come up with a new way to encourage economic growth in Minnesota.

Legislators want to offer grants of up to $2 million to businesses that add jobs and upgrade facilities.

The grants would come from an $18.5 million dollar Minnesota Job Creation Fund as part of a larger economic development package.

The grants would go to businesses engaged in things like manufacturing, information technology, and warehousing.

The amount of money the company would receive would be based on the size of the expansion, how many jobs are added, and how much those workers are paid.

For instance, a worker making $45,000 a year could bring the company up to $3,000 in grant money.

Local business experts said this type of incentive can be critical for companies who want to expand but struggle with the cost of new equipment and training for employees.

“Maybe companies have the money and the opportunity to grow but they're not applying it to actually hiring people,” said John Garry, executive director of the Development Corporation of Austin. “This could be kind of the kick they need to look at hiring new people."

The economic development package is set to come before a house budget committee on Thursday.