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Rural Development

U.C.A. 63M-1-1606
The Rural Development program’s mission is to unite and support Utah’s rural communities in economic development through coalitions, entrepreneurship, business expansion and infrastructure development.

This overview is for information purposes only. The Office of Rural Development formal report, pursuant to U.C.A. 63M-1-1606, will be provided directly to the legislature, according to statute.

Rural Development Office

The Rural Development office staff supports the Governor’s Rural Partnership Board (GRPB). This volunteer board has representation from business, industry and local government and its mission is to raise awareness about rural development needs and define economic barriers.

With the input from the GRPB, the rural office provides a detailed verbal and written report on rural issues to the Governor, the Workforce Services and Economic Development Legislative Interim Committee and other state and federal agencies.

GOED’s Rural Development team supports local economic development professionals, rural communities and organizations such as the Center for Rural Life.
GOED has partnered with the Utah State University Extension on seminars, workshops and coordinated programs. Topics have included manufacturing, the Utah’s Own program, federal stimulus funds, congressional delegation updates and renewable energy.
In addition to the programs listed below, Rural Development facilitates assistance through numerous other programs, such as local revolving loan funds, Small Business Development Centers, SBA business programs, the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative, certified development companies, Custom Fit training and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Business and Economic Development Assistance

Rural Development Grants

Matching funds of up to $10,000 are available to communities to facilitate economic development projects. Grants are awarded as they are received, based on the quality of the project and available funding.

Enterprise Zones (U.C.A. 63M-1-403)

Businesses within an Enterprise Zone can claim state income tax credits for investing in plant and depreciable machinery and equipment, creating new, above average wage jobs, and the rehabilitation of older facilities. In 2012, over $9.3 million in tax credits were awarded, estimated to equal over $80 million of business investment in rural Utah.

In 2013, over $12.3 million in credits were awarded coupled with significant private business investment in Rural Utah.

Targeted Business Tax Credits

Companies can receive refundable state income tax credits for non-retail busi-nesses in qualifying enterprise zones. Each year, GOED awards a maximum of $300,000 per company based on projected investment and payroll.

If projec-tions are reached, the companies awarded the targeted business tax credits will receive tax credits in each of the next three years. In FY2012 $79,000 was paid and in FY2013 $362,000.

Rural Disadvantaged Communities (U.C.A. 63M-1-2006)

This Act was to provide a tool for economically disadvantaged rural counties and communities to accomplish economic development projects. Passed in 2005 which funded the first year. Since that time the legislature has not appropriated any funding, therefore no report can be issued.

Business Expansion and Retention Program (BEAR Program)
(U.C.A. 63M-1-904)

The Business Expansion and Retention Program is designed to assist in growing new and existing rural businesses, influencing rural job creation, and increased economic diversity in rural regions by enhancing the level of technical services provided.

The BEAR initiative is available to rural county economic development offices, Business Resource Centers, Small Business Development Centers, and formal partnership consortiums directly involving these entities within the state for business training and skill development.

Rural Fast Track (RFT) (U.C.A. 63M-1-904)

A portion of the Industrial Assistance Fund is designated for non-retail companies in rural Utah (counties with a population less than 30,000 and averagehousehold income less than $60,000) for business expansion and the creation of new high-paying jobs.