Incentives

Facade Grants
Downtown Eatonton offers up to a 50% match on improvements to your building façade.

There are limits and conditions on this offer. Eatonton Main Street-Downtown Eatonton will also offer advice on window displays and signage.

An application for the Façade Grant program can be found by clicking on the Façade Grant application button.

Please contact the Downtown Eatonton Director/Project Manager for details by calling (706) 749-9150 or by emailing director@downtowneatonton.com

Our office is located in City Hall at 201 N. Jefferson Ave. Eatonton, GA 31024

 

Downtown Eatonton Media Welcome Package Certificate

For New Businesses Only within Two Blocks of the Square

 

The certificate entitles you to:

 

$1000 worth of advertising from Smith Communications, The Eatonton Messenger, Lake Oconee News, Jones County News, Baldwin Bulletin, Lakelife, Health and Fitness and Homefinder. (Please contact Heather Harris 706-485-3501 extension 5.)

$500 advertising from Star Station. (Please contact Debra Baker 706-485-8792)

$500 advertising from the Union Recorder, Lake Oconee Breeze and Buyers Guide (Please contact Keith Barlow 478-452-0567)

*Other incentives from Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce (Please contact Brooke Barrett 706-485-7701)

** Must be redeemed within 6 months - cannot be redeemed for cash.

 

Certificates are provided for qualified businesses from the Downtown Eatonton Office in City Hall, 201 North Jefferson Avenue, Eatonton or from the above media outlets. (Please either call 706-749-9150 or email director@downtowneatonton.com)

Federal New Markets Tax Credit

  • Available to investors in Community Development Entities for qualifying investment the CDEs make in those businesses that are located in low-income communities.

  • The best way to utilize this credit is to find an existing CDE that already has an allocation and convince them to loan the developer funds for a project, likely at a low interest rate.

Requirements

  • Commercial real estate qualifies as a business for the purposes of CDE investments.

  • Investment by the CDE can be in the form of a loan or equity.

  • The CDE must receive allocation from the federal government for the credits.

  • The CDE can provide the owner/developer an interest-only loan for 20% of the project cost which loan is “forgiven” after five years.

Benefits

  • Credit is equal to 49% of the amount of the CDE’s investment.

  • 5% for each of the first three years.

  • 6% for years four to seven

 

Rural Zone Designation. From January 1 2020

The Rural Zone program targets rural downtown areas that have been adversely impacted by local economic conditions by creating Rural Zones and offering economic development incentives.  It differs from other programs at DCA which provide technical assistance and access to capital because it would establish an incentive program to stimulate investment, job creation, and economic development.  It also adds in retail opportunities, which are currently excluded from job tax credits.  Further, multiple sources can benefit – for instance, a single new coffee shop might provide job tax credits for the local business owner and an investment and rehabilitation credit to an urban investor.


The Job Tax Credit (JTC) will be $2,000 per new full-time equivalent job per year, up to 5 years and not to exceed $200,000 total or $40,000 per year.  New full-time equivalent job means an aggregate of employee worked hours totaling 40 hours per week between two or more employees.  At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created to qualify.  This credit is for the small business owner who opens a storefront and creates jobs.
The Investment Credit is equivalent to 25% of the purchase price, not to exceed $125,000 total or $25,000 per year.  At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created and maintained to qualify for the investment credit. This credit is for people who purchase a building downtown and cannot be taken unless jobs are created.


The Rehabilitation Credit is equivalent to 30% of the qualified rehabilitation, not to exceed $150,000 total or $50,000 per year.  At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created and maintained to qualify for the rehabilitation credit.  This credit is to offset development costs associated with the rehabilitation of a certified investor property.


Similar to other incentive programs (i.e., Opportunity Zones and Tourism Development Act) this program will be the joint responsibility of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.  Both Commissioners will jointly review Revitalization Zone requests, and DCA will administer the program for approved areas.   


Eligibility requirements:    

Cities and counties with a population of less than 15,000

Must have a concentration of historic commercial structures at least 50 years old within the zone

Must prove economic distress based on poverty rate, vacancy of the downtown area, or blight.

Must be in compliance with the state requirements regarding comprehensive planning and reporting, Service Delivery Strategy, Government Management Indicators (GOMI), and the Report of Local Government Finances. 

Must submit a feasibility study or market analysis identifying business activities that can be supported in the zone.

Must submit a master plan or strategic plan designed to guide private and public investment.

Tax Credits
A specific area of Eatonton is designated as an Opportunity Zone. (OZ map). If your business is within this zone, and you hire 2 or more employees, you may claim state tax credits up to $3700 a year. Please note this does not apply to Federal Taxes and is a credit against your corporate state taxes. See Opportunity Zone brochure for additional details.

Low Interest Loans
There are several federal, state and city programs that can help you borrow funds at a favorable rate.

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal program that guarantees payment for loans secured from local banks. People’s BankFarmers & Merchants BankBankSouth, Exchange BankWellsFargo and BB& T are all SBA approved. Contact these banks directly for terms and conditions.

  • The City of Eatonton has a Revolving Loan Fund which it will lend to small businesses for start-up or expansion. The fund balance varies as money is lent out & repaid. Contact the Eatonton City Administrator at (706) 485-3311 for details.

In addition to the above incentives, the Putnam Development Authority has information on county and state level incentives. See PDA web site.

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