County Launches Green Investor Incentive Program
Montgomery County’s Department of Economic Development (DED) today released the application and qualification criteria for an incentive program designed to drive green innovation locally by supporting early-stage investors. The Green Investor Incentive Program is a unique approach to encourage investments in green companies by reimbursing qualified investors with payments of up to $25,000. Investors and green companies will be qualified through an application process that officially opened July 24.
“The Green Investor Incentive Program is the county’s latest initiative to support the growing green technology sector,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “This new program will help businesses access capital, provide investors with a timely return on investment, and will result in more local entrepreneurs using innovation to solve environmental challenges.”
“We are excited about the new opportunities the Green Investor Incentive Program will open up for our local entrepreneurs seeking early-stage investor funding,” said DED director Steve Silverman. “The program will help us cultivate a larger group of investors so that green business solutions and products that are conceived here can develop and grow into successful Montgomery County-based companies.”
Improving access to capital was a recommendation of the Green Economy Task Force in 2010. Legislation that ultimately created the Green Investor Incentive Program was introduced by Councilmember Roger Berliner in December 2012 and was approved by the County Council in April. In addition, the Council approved Leggett’s FY14 appropriation request of $500,000 to fund the program.
“The Green Investor Incentive Program is a positive step towards making Montgomery County a leader in green business innovation,” said Berliner, a Green Economy Task Force member. “Programs like this help reposition our county so that it is known as a place where cutting edge green tech business will feel welcomed and supported. Our commitment to the environment is one of our strengths as a county, and it is my hope that this new incentive program will help us solidify that reputation and attract companies to help our planet as well as our economy.”
To qualify as a green business, a company must provide a green product or technology, be headquartered in the County, have been in business for less than ten years and employ fewer than 50 people. The company must also practice green business operations and be a certified B-Corporation, Montgomery County Certified Green Business, or have earned a similar designation.
“Designations like the Montgomery County Green Business Certification are great assets to companies that take sustainability seriously,” said Barbara Ashe, Executive Vice President of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and Green Economy Task Force member, “because they know that green business is good business. As they lead, others will follow.”
Individuals and investment firms that have invested in qualified green companies from July 24, 2013 until December 31, 2013 are potentially eligible to access this year’s $500,000 appropriation, which will be allocated by a pre-set formula. The program will be first come first served, and investors will have until January 15, 2014 to submit their applications. Qualified investors cannot be pension or retirement funds, and cannot have an ownership stake in the company prior to investing.
The County, via DED, plans to disburse payments by mid-April 2014.
For more information or to download the application, please visit the Department of Economic Development’s website at http://www.choosemontgomerymd.com/programs-incentives/financial-tax-incentives/green-investor-incentive-program.