- Historic Preservation
- Start Up Business
- Hiring and Training
- Energy Efficiency
Historic Preservation Tax Credits
Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program
A business who owns or purchases a historic building in Napa may qualify for property tax relief if they pledge to rehabilitate and maintain the historical and architectural character of their properties for at least a 10-year period. In order for a property to be eligible, it must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, be listed on the California Register of Historic Places, or be listed on a local inventory. The Mills Act program is especially beneficial for recent buyers of historic properties and for current owners of historic buildings who have made major improvements to their properties. The City of Napa participates in The Mills Act and the Planning Division administers the Mills Act Applications.
National Register of Historic Places Tax Credits
A business who holds title to a historic eligible property may take advantage of a 20% tax credit by investing in historic preservation/restoration work. Properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places are potentially eligible for direct income tax credits if the the following factors are met:
- The historic building must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or be certified as contributing to the significance of a "registered historic district;"
- The project must meet the "substantial rehabilitation test" (i.e., the cost of rehabilitation must exceed the pre-rehabilitation cost of the building);
- The rehabilitation work must be done according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation; and
- After rehabilitation, the historic building must be used for an income-producing purpose for at least five years.
Owner-occupied residential properties do not qualify for the federal rehabilitation tax credit. Properties must be currently listed, in process of nomination or successfully nominated upon completion of the work in order to be eligible. Learn More>>
The Napa-Sonoma SBDC provides start up businesses with to a wide array of financial resources and services to foster business growth and success. They also help prepare, review, and present required documents to help Start-Up businesses become “bankable” and “lendable.” Learn More>>
The Opportunity Fund is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution and an SBA (Small Business Administration) approved lender. This non-profit organization provides financial help to small businesses that have been shut out of the financial mainstream. Learn More>>
U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers assistance in the form of loans, grants and other resources that can assist small businesses.
Looking for capital? The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program encourages lenders to make loans to small businesses that may have difficulty obtaining capital. This guarantee minimizes the credit risk for lenders, and makes it possible for new and existing businesses in California to qualify for small business loans. Learn More>>
California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) and CalCAP Collateral Support - The California Capital Access Program encourages lenders to make loans to small businesses that may have difficulty obtaining capital. These credit enhancement programs minimizes the credit risk for lenders, and makes it possible for new and existing businesses in California to qualify for small business loans. Learn More>>
Small Business Certification Program
Certified small business (SBs) and microbusinesses (MBs) are entitled to benefits in the state contracting process. Learn More>>
The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to companies that want to come to California or stay and grow in California. Tax credit agreements are negotiated by GO-Biz and approved by a statutorily created “California Competes Tax Credit Committee." Applications are competitive and businesses must commit to certain employment or project investment requirements, or "milestones." Any business can apply, and 25% of the available credits are reserved for small businesses.
New Employment Credit
The New Employment Credit (NEC) is an income tax credit available to companies that hire full-time employees within specially designated geographic areas, including former Enterprise and LAMBRA Zones. The NEC is available for each taxable year to a qualified taxpayer that hires a qualified full-time employee and pays qualified wages within the qualified geographic area. In order to be allowed a credit, the qualified taxpayer must have a net increase in full-time employees in California, determined on an annual full-time equivalent basis.
Employment Training Panel
The Employment Training Panel (ETP) provides funding to employers to assist in upgrading the skills of their workers through training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. The ETP Is a funding agency, not a training agency so businesses must determine their own training needs and how to provide that training. ETP staff is available to assist employers in the process of applying for funds. Businesses may apply for funding after completing an initial ETP orientation session.
ETP for Small Business
ETP prioritizes small business training and is an essential resource for small employers who otherwise may have no means to train their workers. ETP serves small employers in two ways: 1) direct contracts with single employers, and 2) multiple employer contracts (MECs) with employer consortia, joint apprenticeship training councils, trade associations, and training agencies that train workers of multiple employers. Key efforts in serving small businesses include:
- Small Business Program (SBP) — To facilitate direct small business contracts, SBP has "Funding Limitations” in training cost reimbursements for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees in California, but no more than 250 worldwide. SBP contracts are streamlined and expedited, training hours may range from 8 to 60 hours of instruction, and small business owners may be trained, along with their employees. Modifications to standard contract requirements are allowed. Click here to see the sample Small Business Contract.
- MEC Entrepreneurial Training — ETP funds entrepreneurial training for small businesses owners, equipping them with the tools necessary to successfully run their business. Training consists of business management and other related skills for employers with at least one but less than ten employees. Click here to see the sample MEC Entrepreneurial Contract.
- Higher Training Reimbursement Rate — The Panel provides a higher training reimbursement rate for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees in California. The higher reimbursement rate is applicable in direct contracts with single employers and MEC contracts serving multiple small business.
- Training Opportunities with a MEC — A Small Business can also participate in a standard MEC, and thereby reduce the cost of administration.
Foreign Trade Zone
A portion of Napa County is part of San Francisco's Foreign Trade Zone #3. The trade zone program is managed jointly by the Port of San Francisco, the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Customs. Companies interested in participating may be eligible for a range of benefits such as duty deferral, duty reduction, and duty elimination. Companies conducting manufacturing, assembly, fabrication and value-add activities within Foreign Trade Zone #3 general purpose zone, or subzone, can also take advantage of benefits such as inverted tariff savings, weekly Customs entry savings, duty deferral, duty elimination on waste and scrap, duty elimination on rejected or defective parts, duty elimination on re-exports, and duty elimination on domestic content or value added including labor, overhead and profits.
The Export-Import Bank (EXIM) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Its mission is to ensure that U.S. companies — large and small — have access to the financing they need to turn export opportunities into sales. For many U.S. exporters, a lack of financing can stand in the way of global growth. EXIM has several forms of support that can provide a solution:
- Working Capital Loan Guarantee
EXIM can work with your private lender to help secure financing for international sales. A lender receives a loan “guarantee” from EXIM, guaranteeing repayment for a percentage of the loan if the borrower ((i.e., U.S. exporter) defaults. You can use the loan from your bank to pay for the labor, materials, and other inputs required to fulfill sales. EXIM doesn’t replace your private bank; it simply backs their loan and increases your borrowing power.
- Export Credit Insurance
An insurance policy for your foreign accounts receivable provides protection against the risk of buyer nonpayment. When EXIM backs your foreign receivables, private lenders are often willing to lend against assets otherwise excluded from the borrowing base. The bottom line for your business: same collateral, a larger borrowing base, and a better cash flow.
The CA Made program is California’s labeling program for manufactured goods. The program is designed to encourage consumer product awareness and promote the purchase of products manufactured in California. This program supports all products manufactured in the state that meet the requirements, including apparel, furniture, software, art, household goods, handmade items, toys, and cosmetics.
HUBZone Program Certification
The Small Business Administration's "Historically Underutilized Business Zones" (HUBZone) program benefits HUBZone-certified companies by making them more competitive within the federal contracting process. To qualify for the program, a business (except tribally-owned businesses) must meet the following criteria:
- It must be a small business by SBA standards;
- It must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe;
- Its principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act;
- At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.
To search an address, or to find if a particular area is designated as a HUBZone, use this HUBZone Mapping Tool.
While every business is unique, everyone is looking for ways to cut expenses. PG&E can help customers find equipment upgrade rebates, develop customized energy plans, provide energy-saving ideas, and other services that can help businesses save money. Learn More>>
Industrial Development Bonds
Industrial Development Bonds are tax exempt securities issued by the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank), the State Treasurer’s Office, local Industrial Development Authorities, or by Joint Powers Authorities for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation and equipping of manufacturing and processing facilities for private companies. The project financed by the bonds must be a facility used for manufacturing, production or processing of tangible property (including the processing resulting in the change of such property). No more than 25% of the bond proceeds can be applied to ancillary office, warehouse or other space. The project financed by the bonds must meet certain public benefit criteria which include, among other criteria, the creation or retention of jobs. The Prospective User (Principals and Financial Officers of Manufacturing Business) should contact:
- Bond counsel, preferably a law firm specializing in tax-exempt bonds;
- The local issuing authority to initiate the application process;
- The local issuing authority or the California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission (CIDFAC) to get a recommendation on a financing team such as the underwriter, financial advisor, etc. and to discuss the Industrial Development Bond (IDB) eligibility requirements; and
- A financial institution willing to issue a letter of credit for the face amount of the bonds or a qualified institutional investor willing to purchase the bonds through a private placement.
Small Business Loan Guarantee Program - The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program provides “access to capital” that may not have been available to growing businesses without this guarantee. This guarantee minimizes the credit risk for lenders, and makes it possible for new and existing businesses in California to qualify for small business loans. Learn More>>
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)(CAEATFA) - The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses through a number of financial programs. While SBA itself does not make loans, it provides guarantees on loans from private and other lending institutions. Learn more>>
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development - The USDA provides funding opportunities for rural small businesses through loans, loan guarantees, and grants. Learn More>>