Incentives and Business Resources
DRA Retail Up-Fit Grant
Purpose: The goal of this program is to create an incentive to attract new retail businesses and aid in the expansion of existing retail businesses in downtown Raleigh.
- Attract new businesses that provide needed/desired services or products within downtown to address demand of residents, employees and visitors, as well as increase foot traffic and create a viable commercial core.
- Stimulate private investment in retail within downtown through property improvement, business development or expansion.
- Contribute to the overall value of downtown by encouraging more retail, which makes downtown a more vibrant, sustainable, livable place and adds value to other businesses and investments in downtown.
Property Improvement Assistance: Provide financial assistance for renovations, improvements, and build outs of existing space
For more information about applying for this program, contact:
Senior Vice President of Economic Development and Planning
Downtown Raleigh Alliance
333 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1150
Raleigh, NC 27601
Facade Grant Program: The City of Raleigh’s Façade Grant Program helps businesses and property owners in older commercial areas upgrade and improve their building’s exterior appearance. The program requires a 50/50 match and reimburses approved applicants up to $5,000.
Eligible improvements include:
- The removal of false fronts (such as aluminum panels)
- Repair or replacement of windows, doors, and cornices
- Repair or replacement of façade materials
- New, more appropriate signage
- New awnings
- Exterior painting (when part of a larger rehab effort)
For more information about applying for this program and current funding availability, contact:
Urban Design Center
220 Fayetteville Street, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27601
Job Creation and Investment Based Incentives
Raleigh, Wake County and the State of North Carolina offer various incentives to eligible businesses relocating or expanding in the community. For a comprehensive list of incentives, and the eligibility requirements associated with them, please visit Raleigh Economic Development’s website.
For all specific questions regarding these incentives, contact:
Credit for Investing in Business Property
Eligible taxpayers may claim a credit based on a percentage of the cost of capitalized tangible personal property that is placed in service during the taxable year, in excess of an applicable threshold. The credit is taken in four equal installments over four years, beginning the year after the property is first placed in service.
* Raleigh has created a designated Urban Progress Zone (UPZ) that significantly enhances the value of the tax credits.
For more detailed information about eligibility and minimum requirements, please visit the portion of the North Carolina Department of Commerce website devoted to Article 3J.
R&D Tax Credits
The amount of the Research and Development tax credit is based on a percentage of qualified research expenses. Please note the enhanced credits for research performed with North Carolina Universities.**
Businesses with qualified North Carolina research expenses are allowed a credit equal to a percentage of those expenses. The allowable credits are determined by:
Small business (annual receipts less than $1 million): Qualified businesses on the last day of the taxable year are allowed a credit of 3.25%.
Other research: For businesses with annual receipts greater than $1 million, refer to the table below for qualified research expenses during a taxable year:
$0 - $50 million
$50 -$200 million
** A business with North Carolina university research expenses for the taxable year is allowed a credit equal to 20% of those expenses.
For more detailed information about the R&D tax credits, please visit the portion of the North Carolina Department of Commerce website devoted to R&D tax credits.
Job Development Investment Grant
The Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) is a discretionary incentive that provides sustained annual grants to new and expanding businesses measured against a percentage of withholding taxes paid by new employees. Only 25 grants are available statewide annually.
Due to the size and scope of this program, JDIG is only available for very large economic development projects.
For more information about JDIG, please visit the portion of the North Carolina Department of Commerce website devoted to JDIG.
One North Carolina Fund
The One North Carolina Fund helps recruit and expand quality jobs in high value-added, knowledge-driven industries. The fund is competitive and the location or expansion must be in competition with another location outside the state.
For a company to be considered:
- The Company must agree to meet an average wage test.
- Local units of government (city or county) must agree to match financial assistance to the company.
For more information about the One North Carolina Fund, please visit the portion of the NorthCarolina Department of Commerce website devoted to OneNC.
Starting a new business? The City of Raleigh has provided a useful list of questions and answers for prospective business owners to review. Click here for more information.
Small Business Center (SBC) at Wake Tech Community College: A state funded organization which is part of the Small Business Center Network of North Carolina. The SBC provides small business owners with information they need for starting or expanding their small business and offers, confidential, one-on-one counseling with the Small Business Center Director.
For more information call (919) 335-1001 or visit www.smallbusinesscenter.waketech.edu.
SCORE: Offers free business counseling resources. For more information, call (919) 856-4739 from Mon-Fri (9 am-12 pm) or visit www.raleighscore.org.
NC Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC): The SBTDC is the business and technology extension service of the University of North Carolina which oversees the 16 constituent institutions of the University system. The SBTDC is administered by North Carolina State and operated in partnership with US Small Business Administration. It is committed to providing knowledge, education and other supportive resources that enable existing small and mid-sized businesses, emerging entrepreneurs and local/state leaders to innovate and succeed. For more information, please contact (919) 715-7272 or (800) 258-0862 (in NC only), email email@example.com, or visit www.sbtdc.org.
Business Link North Carolina: BLNC, or "blink," is a business resource access point for an extensive network of experts who can help your business succeed. Business Link North Carolina can connect you to services provided by state-supported agencies, many of which are free. Call BLNC toll-free, 1-800-228-8443, or local at 919-807-4280, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, to talk with one of our business counselors, or visit www.blnc.gov/.
N.C. Capital Access Program: This program expands business finance options for businesses across the state. By reducing risk, it encourages banks and other qualified lenders to consider loans that otherwise fall just outside of conventional underwriting standards. For a list of participating banks and institutions as well as more information about the program, visit www.ncruralcenter.org/business-programs/capaccess.html or contact Tony Johnson (919) 250-4314 at the NC Rural Economic Development Center.
The Support Center: assists with funding available through Community Development Credit Unions.
For information about incentives in Raleigh/Wake County/North Carolina including credit for creating jobs, credit for investing in business property, research and development credits, job development investment grant, and the One North Carolina Fund, please reference www.raleigh4u.com/page/incentives.