LCEDF applies to become E-Community

 

First published in the Lincoln Sentinel on July 7, 2016

When I started working at the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation (LCEDF) two years ago, I was inundated with information from various statewide organizations on program and incentives available to communities.  I was inundated so much that I found it difficult to sort it all out and understand the pros, cons and endless requirements of each.

So to help me sort it all out, I’ve paid attention to the programs other county economic development directors have talked about as being beneficial.  One of the programs I continually hear good things about is the E-Community program from Network Kansas.  “E” stands for Entrepreneurship.

The LCEDF is applying to become an E-Community, a highly competitive process, as its focus is to grow and support local entrepreneurs.

By becoming an E-Community, the LCEDF will have the ability to 1) create a new revolving loan fund giving startup and existing businesses access to creative financing beyond the capabilities of the LCEDF’s existing loan funds, 2) provide business owners access to coaching and mentorship along with nationally-recognized entrepreneurship and business development programs such as Economic Gardening, Destination Boot Camp, and Growing Rural Businesses, and 3) develop strong entrepreneurial environments through peer-to-peer discussions with other E-Communities.

But with all programs, there is a catch.  As part of our application (and its approval) to the E-Community program, we must demonstrate that we have the ability to generate funds for our new revolving loan fund by selling Entrepreneurship Tax Credits.

The good news is that these Entrepreneurship Tax Credits are a perfect opportunity for people who are tired of sending money to the state government but to keep it locally to support our own economy and businesses.

The Entrepreneurship Tax Credit provides a 75% state income tax credit to donors who contribute a minimum of $250 to the fund.  This tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar credit against state income tax liability; meaning, for every $1,000 contributed, donors will receive a $750 credit directly off of their state income tax liability. Donors are also eligible to receive a federal deduction, which varies according to the donor’s tax bracket. These tax credits are in a refundable category and can roll forward to future years if all the credits are not used in 2016. Please contact your tax advisor to determine how this opportunity might benefit you or your business.

The LCEDF’s goal is to have verbal commitments for approximately $35,000 in donations by the E-Community application deadline of August 5, 2016, and a total of $70,000 in actual donations by December 19, 2016, should we be approved for the E-Community program.

If you have questions or are interested in receiving state income tax credits, please feel free to stop by the LCEDF office in the county courthouse basement at 216 E. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln, give me a call at 785-524-8954, or email me at lcedfdirector@outlook.com.

 

Kelly Larson
Executive Director
Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation