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Economic Development

Lee County Business Incentives

Lee County's Economic Development Office offers several local and state business incentives to new, expanding and relocating businesses in the county to help defray with capital costs. Please click on the name of each program for complete information about terms and conditions, as well as for application contacts.

Lee County FIRST: Financial Incentives for Recruiting Strategic Targets
Performance Incentive with up to $25 million in Reserve
Lee County has set aside $25 million to create a negotiated, performance-based incentive used to attract and grow high-value business projects that promote broad-based prosperity in our community. The incentive must be an inducement for the company to locate or expand in Lee County. To be considered for a Lee County FIRST incentive award, an applicant should operate within a target industry or high-impact sector as designated by Florida law. Check here for the specific, targeted industries for:

Southwest Florida Targeted Industries

Southwest Florida welcomes business diversification. We support the statewide target clusters/industries, as established by Enterprise Florida Inc., the public-private partnership devoted to statewide economic development and include:

  • Cleantech
  • Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Defense & Homeland Security
  • Logistics & Distribution
  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • Information Technology
  • Corporate Headquarters
  • Financial/Professional Services
Descriptions of each target industry is available on the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance website.

Florida's Targeted Industries
Each year Lee County designates $1.5 million from general funds to be used for the purpose of business incentives. There are two incentives that utilize these funds: the Lee County Job Opportunity Program (LCJOP) and the State Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund Program (QTI) 20% local match.

Lee County Job Opportunity Program (LCJOP)

The LCJOP is a cash incentive for targeted industry jobs, paying up to $6,000 per full time job created.
Lee County desires to provide an incentive for locating or expanding companies creating high wage employment in targeted industries. Qualified companies may be awarded up to $6,000 for each full-time, permanent job created, subject to a maximum award amount of $500,000. The incentives are paid in the form of reimbursements for the Eligible Uses of Funds and as new jobs are created. Click for a list of State of Florida and Lee County Targeted Industries.

Florida Qualified Targeted Industries Tax Refund Program (QTI)

The Florida QTI program provides a tax refund incentive for new or existing businesses to create quality value-added jobs and encourage the growth of corporate headquarters and other targeted high value industries. The program provides tax refunds to pre-approved applicants of up to $5,000 per new job created. There is a project cap of $5 million, or $7.5 million for projects located in an Enterprise Zone.

Lee County will provide a 20% match of the total amount awarded. For instance, if the total amount awarded is $100,000, Lee County will provide $20,000 while the State of Florida will contribute $80,000.

Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IDRB) 

Tax-exempt, low-rate financing for manufacturers, paying $3 million to $10 million

IDRBs are securities issued by the Lee County government agency, providing long-term, below-market rate financing of capital requirements for new and expanding manufacturing facilities. Minimum bond is $3 million, and maximum bond is $10 million per borrower. The borrower is solely responsible for principal and interest repayment.

Because the interest on IDRBs is exempt from federal tax, the interest rate on this type of financing is generally lower than conventional debt financing. Proceeds from the IDRB may be used to finance fixed assets and qualified costs associated with the bond-financed projects. The Lee County Industrial Development Authority serves as the initial entry point into the IDRB application process.