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California Fights Back

BLS & Co.'s Andy Shapiro was quoted in this article from Site Selection Magazine, titled "California: Fighting Back."


After years of watching other states lure companies away from California with promises of lower taxes, relocation incentives and business-friendly regulation, the Golden State is fighting back with what it believes is the Midas touch of incentive programs.

The California Competes Tax Credit Program, long considered the gold standard of incentives for its transparency and targeting ability, received a jolt of oomph recently when Gov. Gavin Newsom reached into his state’s piggy bank and opened the coffers.

This is not something California normally does, and when Newsom loosened the purse strings to help businesses grow, site selectors and other interested parties took notice.

Among them was Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company LLC, a Princeton, New Jersey–based site selection consulting firm. Andrew Shapiro, managing director of BLS, said the governor’s fiscal year 2022 budget “significantly enhances the state’s signature business incentive and also “creates a new grant program called the California Competes Grant Program.”

The new California budget allocates nearly $285 million of state income tax credits to the CalCompetes Tax Credit Program in FY 2022, representing a $105 million increase from 2021. These credits will be awarded in three tranches over the next year. The new CalCompetes Grant Program is a separate $120 million appropriation for FY 2022. To be eligible, an applicant must meet at least one of these criteria:

  • Create at least 400 new full-time equivalent jobs.
  • Make a significant infrastructure investment, defined as new facility construction or renovations of $10 million or more over five years.
  • Create jobs or make an investment in eligible census tracts designated as areas of high poverty or high unemployment.

No single award can exceed 30% of the total appropriation for the year. That places the cap at $36 million for any one company for FY 2022.

The additional funding for corporate expansion projects comes as welcome news to the ears of economic developers statewide at a time when turbulence and uncertainty otherwise cloud the present and future of governance in California.

Andrew Shapiro

Managing Director

Andy Shapiro heads the firm's location advisory practice from its San Francisco Bay Area office, helping clients translate their business objectives and strategic vision into rational, balanced location decisions. His primary responsibilities include site selection, feasibility economic impact analysis and market analysis.

Site Selection Magazine
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