Job Creation Fund

Overview

The Job Creation Fund provides financial incentives to new and expanding businesses that meet certain job creation and capital investment targets.

Companies deemed eligible to participate may receive up to $1 million for creating or retaining high-paying jobs and for constructing or renovating facilities or making other property improvements. In some cases, companies may receive awards of up to $2 million.

Eligibility and Requirements

The program is available to businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, technology-related industries, and other eligible activities. Companies must work with the local government (city, county or township) where a project is located to apply to DEED to receive designation as a Job Creation Fund business.

To be designated as a Job Creation Fund business, a business must, at minimum:

  • Be engaged in an eligible business activity
  • Obtain local government support for their project via council resolution
  • Invest at least $500,000 in real property improvements within one year of becoming a designated Job Creation Fund business
  • Create at least 10 new full-time permanent jobs within two years of becoming a Job Creation Fund business while maintaining existing employment numbers
  • Pay at least $12.45 in wages and benefits in 2014, adjusted annually based on 110 percent of federal poverty guidelines. The level will be $12.61 starting Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Have other location options outside of Minnesota
  • Cause no undue harm to Minnesota business competitors
  • Certify that the project would not occur without Job Creation Fund assistance

Projects that begin prior to becoming designated by DEED are not eligible for the Job Creation Fund.

Prevailing Wage Requirements

Projects that receive $200,000 or more in Job Creation Fund assistance are subject to prevailing wage requirements. See more about prevailing wage requirements.

Available Benefits

Companies that meet eligibility requirements must sign a business subsidy agreement with DEED to meet job retention, creation, wage, and capital investment requirements. The following benefits may be available once a business meets the conditions of its agreement and provides proof of performance:

  • $1000 per year per job created for jobs paying at least $26,000 in cash wages
  • $2000 per year per job created for jobs paying at least $35,000 in cash wages
  • $3000 per year per job created for jobs paying at least $45,000 in cash wages
  • Up to a 5 percent rebate for real property improvements for businesses located in the Twin Cities Metro
  • Up to a 7.5 percent rebate for real property improvements for business located in Greater Minnesota

For More Information

Contact Emily Johnson at 651-259-7450 or toll free at 800-657-3858. Or contact a DEED Business Development Specialist in your area.

Download this Job Creation Fund Fact Sheet or this Job Creation Fund Presentation.

How to Apply

Applications for the Job Creation Fund are accepted year-round. Businesses must apply through the local government unit (city, county or township) where the project will be located.  

In consultation with DEED, the local government unit will determine whether the business meets minimum program requirements. To assist with the process, complete this Job Creation Fund Eligibility and Application Checklist.  Projects that meet the minimum requirements complete the following four-step process:

Step One

With assistance from the local government, the business submits the Job Creation Fund Application Form and required supporting documents to DEED.  Completed applications may be emailed to Emily Johnson or mailed to the following address:

    Emily Johnson
    Program Manager
    Office of Business Finance
    332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200
    St. Paul, MN 55101

Step Two

DEED evaluates the application and notifies the local government and business of approval or denial.  If approved, DEED will formally designate the business as a Job Creation Fund business and determine an award amount.  Awards in excess of $500,000 require DEED to hold a public hearing.

Step Three

After a public hearing (if applicable), DEED drafts a business subsidy agreement specifying project goals and duration for the agreement and sends it to the business for signature. The business then returns the agreement to DEED for final signature by the DEED commissioner.

Step Four

Through the duration of the business subsidy agreement, the local government will continue to provide assistance to the designated JCF business.  This includes collecting required reporting information and submitting progress reports, annual reports, requests for payment, and providing updates to the business regarding updates to annually adjusted wages.

Application Materials

Select the links below to view, download or print these forms:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • General FAQs

    What is an eligible business type?

    Eligible business types including manufacturing, warehouse, distribution and some information technology operations.  Businesses that are not eligible for the program include:  retail, health clinics, lobbying, gambling, sports facilities, hospitality services and businesses that serve a direct community area (for example, local veterinarians, roofing contractors, trash haulers, etc.).  

    How long does it take to be designated once an application is submitted?

    If the application is complete, a project may be approved within a few weeks.  For projects that are eligible to receive $500,000 or more, a 10-day notice and public hearing and subsequent official approval by DEED is required and may factor into a project’s timing.  

    What is the state’s public hearing process?

    A 10-day notice in the State Register is required along with a hearing to be held in Saint Paul.  Hearing information will be available in the State Register and on DEED’s website.  If interested parties are unable to attend in-person, DEED will provide call-in options.  

    At what point in the process will the public hearing be held?

    Every effort will be made to hold the public hearing prior to formal JCF designation and should therefore be factoring into application and project timing.  

    Can a business that received JOBZ benefits in the past also receive Job Creation Funds?

    A business that received JOBZ benefits in the past may be eligible for JCF funds as long as the expansion area is not included in a JOBZ zone.

    What does a business need do to become a participant in the Job Creation Fund Program?

    Read and complete the application in partnership with the local government where the project will be located. Use the checklist to ensure all materials are complete. If DEED approves the application, a business subsidy agreement that details the award and performance commitments, will be completed and signed by the business and DEED officials.

    What is considered local government support for the JCF Program?

    A local government is a county, city or town where a business applying to the JCF program will be located.  The local government must provide a resolution in support of a business applying to the program.  

    What is the role of the local government with the Job Creation Fund Program?

    The local government is a point of contact for a business inquiring about the program and will work in consultation with DEED to determine if a business is a good fit for the program. The local government submits the program application to DEED on behalf of the business, provides a resolution supporting the project, and also assists the business with yearly reports and payment requests submitted to DEED.

    Can a business get a JCF award and/or rebate and other DEED funding?

    Yes, but DEED will determine how best to allocate funds from different state sources based on specific project information and program demand.

    How does JCF work with phased projects? 

    Each facility can have only one JCF project open at any point in time. However, a JCF project may be amended one time if capital investment and job creation will be more than noted in the application. If the same facility has a subsequent expansion, the business may apply for JCF if the previous JCF goals were met. Each project “phase” application will be evaluated independently and must meet JCF requirements.

    Can a project that started prior to designation receive JCF benefits?

    No. Each application will require the business to certify that the project has not yet started and the business would not have the same project if not for JCF funds. Examples of a project commencement may include  indicators such as building permits, construction bids, actual construction, etc.

    Does prevailing wage apply to JCF projects? 

    If JCF benefits are $200,000 or more, prevailing wage will apply to the construction project. The local government will be responsible for ensuring that the JCF business is aware of the prevailing wage requirements and/or forward prevailing wage contacts with the Minnesota Dept. of Labor and Industry.  See more about prevailing wage requirements.

    Will the legislative rules for the program change?

    The department may modify rules through 2014 with any rule changes effective 30 days after publishing in the State Register. After 2014, rule changes must follow standard rule-making processes.

    Can a business opt out of JCF designation before their agreement is complete?

    Yes.

    Can a business that received JOBZ benefits in the past receive JCF designation?

    Yes, although the requirements outlined in the JOBZ or other business subsidy agreements and/or business subsidy law must be met before designation as a JCF business.

    Can a business that is consolidating operations receive JCF designation?

    Yes, as long as the cities from where the business is moving their operations provide a written note not objecting to the move and other JCF program rules are followed.

    If a business is expanding at various locations, can they combine expansion jobs at different sites to and combine capital investment at different sites to count toward the requirements to be eligible for JCF designation?

    No. Each expansion at each location must meet the requirements of the JCF program.

    What happens if a business does not meet its goals?

    If the business does not make reasonable progress on the project within six months (e.g, building permits, construction contracts, etc.), meet the one-year capital investment goals or the two-year job creation goals will be removed from the program but may apply for future designation. If these initial goals are met but not in subsequent years, the only penalty is no JCF award and/or rebate for that year.

    When can a business request an award and/or rebate?

    A business may request payment of an award and/or rebate as soon as one year from date of designation so long as the minimum capital investment and job creation requirements outlined in their agreement have been met.

    How will funds be provided to a JCF business?

    Once a project has been designated, the business will provide reports through the local government to DEED documenting performance. Once the goals as stated in the business subsidy agreement are met, additional documentation is submitted including payroll reports, invoices, sworn construction statements, among other documents. Once DEED has verified the performance, an award and/or rebate will be provided to the business. 

    How does DEED verify performance?

    DEED will review documents submitted by the local government and business.  To verify performance, additional information sometimes may need to be submitted to DEED prior to payment authorization.  DEED may also conduct on-site monitoring and examine documents relevant to the project.


  • Benefit FAQs

    Are the award and rebate levels the same throughout the state?

    Each business generally will receive the same JCF award and/or rebate level regardless where the project is located. However, projects located in Greater Minnesota will have up to seven years to receive JCF benefits (vs. five years for projects in the Twin Cities metropolitan area) and Greater Minnesota projects will receive up to a 7.5 percent rebate on eligible capital investment expenditures (versus 5 percent for Twin Cities metropolitan area projects).

    What is considered the Twin Cities metropolitan area?

    For this program, the "metropolitan area" means the counties of Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright.

    Does a business have to take both the job creation award and capital investment rebate?

    No. However, the business will need to create at least 10 new permanent full-time jobs in two years and invest at least $500,000 within one year. These levels may be higher as outlined in the business subsidy agreement. The program benefits are capped at $1 million for most projects, with $500,000 representing the maximum job creation award and capital investment rebate.  Regardless of whether a business chooses one benefit or another, prevailing wage requirements apply.

    May some projects receive more than $1 million?

    Yes. Projects that involve at least 200 new jobs and $25 million in capital investment may receive up to $2 million ($1 million job creation award and $1 million capital investment rebate). Although personal property like equipment and fixtures may be included as part of the $25 million, the capital investment rebate only applies to real property improvements.


  • Job Creation and Retention FAQs

    All jobs created through the program must be new permanent full-time jobs. What is a new permanent full-time job?

    A new permanent full-time job is a permanent position that requires an employee to work an expected 2,080 hours annually. The position may not be vacant (after being filled during the 12-month period) for more than 90 days to be counted toward the full-time job goal.

    Are projects that retain jobs eligible to participate in JCF?

    Yes, but project must retain at least 200 permanent full-time jobs in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area and at least 75 permanent full-time jobs in Greater Minnesota; and have $25 million in capital expenditures. Although personal property like equipment and fixtures may be included as part of the $25 million, the capital investment rebate only applies to real property improvements. Although there are no job creation awards for retention projects, JCF may provide up to $1 million in capital investment rebates.

    What types of work are eligible for a job creation award?

    Any type of work created by the business are eligible for a job creation award. The workers must be new permanent full-time workers expected to work 2,080 hours annually and earn specified levels to earn the rebates of $1000- $3,000 per job, per year. All workers counted toward the new permanent full-time jobs goal must earn at least $12.45 per hour in total compensation (earned wages and voluntary benefits).

    Does a business qualify for a job creation award if it pays its workers $12.45 wages and benefits?

    No.  Workers paid at least $12.45 wages and benefits will count toward job goal minimums; however, at least $26,000 in annual cash wages (to be adjusted annually) must be paid to workers to receive the minimum job creation award.

    Are seasonal employees included in the full-time job creation goal?

    No. Only new permanent full-time employees expected to work 2,080 hours annually can be counted toward a job creation award. All new workers must earn at least $12.45 per hour in total compensation (earned wages and voluntary benefits).

    Can a construction jobs for building improvements be counted toward JCF job goals?

    No. Only new permanent full-time jobs created and employed by the JCF business are counted toward JCF job goals.

    Do contract workers and/or workers who receive 1099s count toward JCF job goals?

    No. Only new permanent full-time jobs created and employed by the JCF business are counted toward JCF job goals.

    Do new or retained full-time employees count toward JCF award need to be based in Minnesota?

    Since this is a program to benefit Minnesota, county and cities, the employees are expected to be based in Minnesota and work the majority of their hours at the JCF facility.

    What types of jobs are counted toward a business’ base employment?

    New permanent full-time employees expected to work 2,080 hours annually are counted toward base employment.

    What is considered a “retained” job for JCF purposes?

    A retained job is a permanent full-time position that is currently present at the business’ existing facility.

    Can a part-time worker that moves to full-time be counted as a new full-time job?

    Yes, but only if the part-time worker was working 1,040 or fewer hours annually for the business prior to employment as a permanent full-time employee.

    If a business drops below the 10-job requirement during their period of designation, are they in violation of their agreement?

    Each business may have unique job creation requirements that must be met within two years of designation (10 new permanent full-time jobs is the minimum). Once the two year goals are met, a company may drop below their goals, with the consequence being that they would not receive any job creation award or capital investment rebate for that year.

    How does a business demonstrate retained jobs?

    A business is required at the time of application to submit quarterly payroll reports for the previous year to demonstrate retained that will be located at a JCF project site.

    How does a business demonstrate new permanent full-time jobs?

    A business will be asked to provide a payroll report annually and at the time of request for a job creation award.  The payroll report should include all new permanent full-time jobs, hire dates, wages paid, voluntary benefits and any other information requested.


  • Capital Investment FAQs

    What types of expenditures are eligible for the capital investment rebate?

    Expenditures eligible for the capital investment rebate are expenditures used for the purpose of building or improving real fixed property where JCF employees will be located. They include construction materials, services and supplies.  Land or property acquisition costs are not eligible.

    What is the best way to identify real property?

    Real property includes land, buildings and various items that are integrated into the land and/or building.  Examples may include: utility systems incorporated into a building, items that are not free-standing (i.e., permanently held in place by gravity and not constrained from moving), ponderous machinery and equipment used in a business that would be considered real property under common law.  Equipment and machinery that could be moved with minimal effort is not considered real property.

    Do employees need to be located in Minnesota to count toward the JCF goals?

    Employees should be based out of the JCF project facility and spend the majority of their time at the facility. 

    What happens if the JCF business doesn't directly make the capital expenditures?

    If the JCF business and the developer/landlord can show capital expenditures on a lease or similar document, those may qualify once the JCF business reimburses the developer/landlord through monthly payments or similar periodic payment. The payments must be amortized over the life of a long-term lease.

    What types of assistance are considered a local contribution?

    TIF, low-interest loans, grants, tax abatement, and other sources of financing or in-kind contributions to a project are considered a local contribution for a project. Please contact DEED to inquire about the eligibility of other forms of assistance.

    How does a business demonstrate capital investment expenditures?

    To demonstrate qualifying capital expenditures, a business may be asked to provide items such as sworn construction statements, A1A contractor forms, invoices for costs, etc.

    How does a business get a capital investment rebate if they lease a building?

    $500,000 in real property improvements must be spent within one year of JCF designation to remain eligible for the program.  A business may need to work with the building developer to provide proof of expenditures.  JCF rebates are then provided yearly based on tenant improvement costs which must be shown in a lease or similar document and amortized equally over each year.  Tenant improvement costs cannot be front-loaded into the lease. The lease must last for at least the term of the JCF business subsidy agreement.

    Can a business be eligible for a capital investment rebate if they lease a building from a local government?

    Yes.  The business must work with the local government to demonstrate that at least $500,000 in real property improvements were made within one year of JCF designation.  JCF rebates are then provided yearly based on tenant improvement costs which must be shown in a lease or similar document and amortized equally over each year.  Tenant improvement costs cannot be front-loaded into the lease the lease must last for at least the term of the JCF business subsidy agreement.

    If a developer is constructing a building where a JCF business will be located, does the developer receive the capital investment rebate?

    No.  Only the JCF business can receive a rebate; however, a developer may be asked by a JCF business to provide proof of real property improvements.

    In a lease scenario, how does a business leasing a facility prove $500,000 in real property improvements if the developer is building a new building?

    The developer and JCF business must work together to compile proof of expenditures.  Rebates are then provided to the JCF business based on tenant improvement costs outlined in the lease.

    Can a JCF business assign proceeds received from the program to a third party or lender?

    DEED’s business subsidy agreement will not address these scenarios.  It will be up to the business and third party to make their own agreement.  In these cases, it is important to understand that JCF funds are not guaranteed and are based on actual performance.