How to Apply

In order to receive JOBZ benefits, companies begin at the community level to submit an application that must be approved by our office. Here is an overview of the application process.

Step One: Contact a JOBZ Subzone Administrator
An interested business contacts a JOBZ subzone administrator in their community. The subzone administrator provides general information and a preliminary determination of whether the business meets basic requirements and if the program is the best fit for the project.

Subzone administrators then contact the DEED representative for the region or county in which the business is located. During these discussions, other forms of assistance that could be used in place of or as a supplement for JOBZ should be explored.

Subzone administrators must certify that they have considered other forms of financial assistance common in economic development, including at a minimum:

  • Tax abatement
  • Tax increment financing
  • Private financial assistance
  • Other DEED financing programs

Zone administrators must certify that JOBZ assistance is required on this project in lieu of or in addition to the additional forms of assistance that are needed for the project.

Companies must provide a statement saying they would not locate, relocate or expand in Minnesota without the benefits provided under JOBZ. Companies must also certify that they will abide by the requirements for E-Verify.

Step Two: Complete a Formal Application
The business and subzone administrator jointly complete the JOBZ Program Application and provide supplemental documentation.

Completed applications must also include the following supplemental documentation:

  • Project information such as the nature of the business, the financing package, the number of jobs created and wages paid
  • Initial results of the JOBZ Benefit Calculator
  • Map, plat, survey, etc., showing the location and boundaries of the JOBZ zone, as well as the footprint of the buildings included in the JOBZ zone
  • Other attachments described in Part III of the application

Step Three: DEED Evaluates the Application
Our review is a two-step process. In the first step we will consider three factors:

  • Does the project need JOBZ?
  • Would the project cause undue harm to another business competitor?
  • Does the value to the state exceed the cost of offering JOBZ? Each project proposal will be evaluated using a nationally recognized modeling tool developed by Regional Economic Model, Inc.

Projects that do not pass these three tests will not be approved.

If the project appears to pass the first three tests, then we consider other scoring factors, including:

  • What is the cost/benefit analysis of a particular project’s job creation and investment? Projects with a higher ratio receive more points.
  • Does the project strengthen the community? DEED will consider how the business will increase the community’s economic vitality. The factors considered will include the impact on local employment and the level of wages paid.
  • To what degree is the project in a distressed county? Although we do not limit JOBZ to the most distressed counties, it does intend to award greater number of points to those projects in more distressed counties, as measured by population loss, higher than statewide average unemployment rate, and lower than statewide median household income.

Only projects that are beneficial for the state and local areas are likely to win approval.

Step Four: If the Project is Approved
If the project is approved, we provide an official approval letter along with a partially completed Business Subsidy Agreement to be signed by the local government and the business applicant and DEED. We mail all documents to the local government. The local government must then schedule a public hearing in order to consider the proposed project as described in the application.

Step Five: Zone Modifications
If a zone modification is required, resolutions from the city, county and school board are also required and these resolutions should be forwarded to DEED.

Step Six: JOBZ Relocation Agreements
If a JOBZ Relocation Agreement is necessary, the local government should notify DEED of the proposed project. DEED will draft the Relocation Agreement and forward it to the signatures of appropriate business owners. The business must then return it to DEED for signature by DEED’s commissioner.

Step Seven: A Signed Business Subsidy Agreement
After the BSA is signed by the local government, the business applicant, and DEED, DEED will notify the Minnesota Department of Revenue as to the existence of the new BSA.

Step Eight: Claiming the Property Tax Exclusions
The business owner or subzone administrator must deliver a copy of the executed BSA to the local tax assessor, so that the property tax exclusion may be claimed.

Step Nine: Ongoing Assistance
The subzone administrator continues to provide assistance to the qualified business. This includes continuing reminders of the specific obligations in the Business Subsidy Agreement, particularly wage and job goals and notification that the wage floor requirements are adjusted annually. Both entities are responsible for reporting JOBZ progress and activity to DEED, the Department of Revenue and other officials as required.