Practice Areas / Economic Development and Business Incentives Consulting and Compliance

Economic Development Practice Summary

Merit Advisors Economic Development Practices provides site selection and business incentives services for companies that are relocating, expanding, consolidating, or establishing new facilities. Our services range from providing assistance with identifying potential physical sites / locations throughout the U.S., acting as a liaison for the company with economic development and government representatives, to negotiating and securing state and local business incentives for the project. The vast experience of Merit Advisors consultants with the economic development / site selection process, combined with our relationships with economic development professionals, allows Merit Advisors to guide companies through the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the site selection process in a timely manner. Our proven approach to the economic development / site selection process has enabled Merit Advisors to assist companies in multiple state and local jurisdictions and industry segments.

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Economic Development and Business Incentive Services Offered 

Site Selection Services

Location decisions can be a daunting exercise. Whether a company is relocating, expanding, consolidating, or establishing new facilities, there are a multitude of complex internal and external factors impacting those decisions. Merit’s site selection services are centered on a phased approach providing a framework facilitating informed location decisions while maintaining the necessary flexibility to respond to rapidly evolving business environments.

The four phases of Merit’s site selection process:

Phase I

  • Definition of the project and main decision drivers
  • Identification and evaluation of search regions
  • Determination of areas of interest
  • Request proposals
  • Evaluate proposed properties
  • Identify candidate locations

Phase II

  • Conduct field visits
  • Perform detailed property/community evaluations
  • Initiate negotiation of incentives
  • Identify Finalist locations

Phase III

  • Conclude property inquiries
  • Complete real estate / business incentives negotiation with Finalist Locations
    • Evaluate business incentives proposals
    • Prepare financial model
  • Select Preferred Location

Phase IV

  • Complete agreements
  • Close real estate transaction
  • Public announcement of the selected location
  • Initiate business incentives compliance process

Business Incentives Services

State and local business incentives oftentimes play a significant role in a company’s site selection decision. It is crucial a company understands which business incentive programs will bring the most value to the project. Merit’s business incentives services are centered on a phased approach providing an additional framework that connects informed financial aspects to location decisions.

The four phases of Merit’s business incentives process:

Phase I

  • Obtain job retention (if applicable), job creation, average wage, and capital investment information
  • Define the project and the company’s key decision criteria
  • Outline the potential business incentives opportunities and strategies to maximize business incentives

Phase II

  • Meet with economic development agencies and/or governing bodies to discuss / negotiate the business incentives needs for the project
  • Continue to work with economic development agencies and/or governing bodies to negotiate / customize a business incentives offer for the project

Phase III

  • Develop and maintain a detailed timeline and checklist for securing the approval of the business incentives offer, including application deadlines, public meeting dates, etc.
  • Prepare and file all paperwork associated with obtaining the business incentives, including required forms, applications, certifications, and other supporting documentation
  • Review all business incentives agreements

Phase IV

  • Prepare and file all required annual business incentives compliance filings until all the savings have been received by the company

Business Incentives Compliance Services

Business incentives compliance is the most overlooked aspect in securing business incentives.  Studies show that over 70% of all business incentives secured by a company are not realized. This is often the case because companies possess neither the bandwidth nor the knowledge or expertise to navigate the business incentives compliance process.

Merit provides compliance services as part of its turn-key approach to its site selection and/or business incentives services. However, Merit also provides stand-alone compliance services to companies who have already secured business incentive approvals. 

Merit has economic development professionals that have the tax, legal, and economic development expertise necessary to prepare business incentives compliance filings and provide a company with the highest level of assurance that the company will be in compliance with the business incentives it secured.

See Announcements for some of the projects that merit has provided Economic Development and Business Incentives Consulting Services.



Merit Advisors, LLC
114 W. Main St.
PO Box 330
Gainesville, TX 76241

Phone: 940.665.6452
Fax: 940.612.3921

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