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Bethlehem Startups Receive More Than $400,000 In KIZ Tax Credits

By Colin McEvoy on January 14, 2019

The Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) annual update, which was held on Nov. 28 at Lehigh University’s Iacocca Hall in Bethlehem.

The Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) annual update, which was held on Nov. 28 at Lehigh University’s Iacocca Hall in Bethlehem.

Seven startup companies located in Bethlehem have been awarded a combined $405,567 in tax credits through the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) program.

All seven companies are located within the Southside Bethlehem KIZ, an area within the city that allows qualified startup companies to qualify for multiple financial and advisory support benefits.

“Our startup companies are receiving a real boost from the KIZ Tax Credit Program,” said Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. “These sellable tax credits are investments in young, growing companies that have seen a significant increase in annual revenue. This infusion of funding is a real game-changer.”

The companies that will be receiving the $442,158 in KIZ tax credits include:

  • Bonn Place Brewing Company ($84,182)
  • CryoConcepts ($84,182)
  • Logic 54 LLC ($30,799)
  • MindMe, Inc. ($29,241)
  • Nextshift LLC ($84,182)
  • Soltech Solutions LLC ($8,799)
  • U.S. Specialty Formulations ($84,182)

Since 2004, the Southside Bethlehem has seen over $8 million dollars in investments made to over 100 KIZ Companies, according to Asher Schiavone, Bethlehem’s Economic Development Coordinator.

Over the last 15 years, the KIZ has helped to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities by aligning the combined resources of educational institutions, governmental agencies, and the private sector, Schiavone said.

The seven companies were among 255 technology businesses across the state of Pennsylvania to receive just under $15 million in KIZ tax credits, according to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. A full list of the approved KIZ companies can be found here.

“Every day, Pennsylvania’s tech sector is growing stronger,” Wolf said. “Our role at the state level is to help foster that growth. By supporting our tech entrepreneurs, we’re creating jobs, enabling business growth, and making Pennsylvania a national and global leader in innovation.”

In it announcement, the state specifically cited Soltech Solutions, a producer of the world’s first LED grow light made for interior design, as a company that has benefited from the KIZ program.

“The KIZ program enabled the founders of the company to purchase crucial equipment, speed up their operations, and form strong partnerships with local colleges and universities,” the state announcement read.

While $100,000 in annual tax credits is a significant incentive to locate in one of Pennsylvania’s 28 KIZs, the Southside Bethlehem KIZ is unique in that eligible companies can apply for $15,000 Technology Transfer Grants, $2,500-$3,750 Student Internship Grants, and other benefits through the program.

These benefits include access to resources through Lehigh University and Northampton Community College. The active grant program is supported by various community partners who invest in these startup companies and economic development in the region, Schiavone said.

During its annual update event on Nov. 28, it was announced that since the the Southside Bethlehem KIZ was formed in 2004, it has resulted in 449 new jobs, $70 million in total leveraged funding, 258 patents filed, and the creation of 146 new products.

The KIZ program provides tax credits for companies that have been in operation for less than eight years, whose gross revenues have increased over the previous year, are located in a KIZ, operate within one of the KIZ targeted industry clusters, and are developing innovative technologies.

For more information, visit the Southside Bethlehem KIZ’s website or contact Schiavone via email or via phone at 610-865-4347.

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