Tax Incentives & Loans
Tax Incentives, Loan Programs & Procurement Opportunities
Lowell's Economic Development Office of the Department of Planning and Development offers a host of financial incentives such as non-traditional loan programs as well as tax incentives. These incentive programs are provided directly by the city of in partnership with other local, state and federal economic development agencies:
Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP)
Companies creating a significant number of jobs within Lowell and making significant capital investment may be eligible for investment tax credits and a real estate tax exemption under the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). This program is offered in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD).
Research and Development Tax Exemption
Any company located in Lowell that is engaged in research and development and is classified as R&D with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue can qualify for an exemption on corporate sales tax from the state. In addition, the City of Lowell is one of the few communities in MA offering 100% tax exemption on any core equipment directly related to its R&D activities.
MA Vacant Storefront
In spring of 2019, the City of Lowell submitted an application to the Massachusetts Office of Business Development to establish a Vacant Storefront District in Downtown Lowell. This program provides state tax credits of up to $10,000 to businesses that occupy eligible storefronts that have been vacant for 12 months or more within that district the Lowell Vacant Storefront District. Learn more about Vacant Storefronts Program.
The Housing Development Incentive Programs
The Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) allows developers of market-rate housing in "gateway cities" such as Lowell to take advantage of state and municipal tax exemptions and deductions.
Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing
The Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing (UCH-TIF) Program is a State statutory program authorizing cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to promote housing and commercial development. The UCH-TIF Program provides real estate exemptions on all or part of the increased value (the "Increment") of improved real estate. Tax increment financing may be combined with grants and loans from local, state and federal development programs. The Department of Housing & Community Development's (DHCD) Division of Community Services is responsible for the operation and administration of the UCH-TIF Program. The Lowell UCH-TIF Plan was approved by DHCD in 2019.
To find out if you are eligible for these tax incentives, please contact our-Economic Development Office at 978-674-4252.
Lowell's Economic Development staff works with traditional and non-traditional finance lenders and can offer businesses a full gamut of options. The following are just some examples:
Small Business Expansion Program
The Small Business Expansion Program is a forgivable loan available to eligible brick and-mortar for-profit businesses who:
- Want to start-up in Lowell.
- Are located elsewhere but want to establish a location in Lowell.
- Are already located in Lowell but want to expand within the city.
The program's goal is to assist businesses that want increase their business operation but need technical and financial assistance to expand their customers base and boost sales.
MassDevelopment has financed companies of all sizes across the Commonwealth with loans, guarantees, and tax-exempt bonds. Financing can be used to purchase real estate, building rehabilitation, equipment, as well as providing export financing to access global markets.
Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation
Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) provides loans, lines of credit and guarantees to eligible businesses in Massachusetts.
Lowell Development & Financial Corporation
The Lowell Development and Financial Corporation (LDFC) offers low-interest loans for the acquisition, construction or renovation of commercial, industrial or office facilities containing at least 10,000 square feet. The LDFC in partnership with the City and other local banks also offers the Downtown Venture Fund Program, a low-interest loan fund available to new retail and restaurant ventures to be located in Downtown Lowell.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers business loans, guarantees and equity financing such as the Advantage Loan 7 (A) loan Program, real estate and equipment loans; disaster recovery, exporting and more.
Entrepreneurship Center at Community Teamwork
The Entrepreneurship Center at Community Teamwork (CTI) provides the essential tools and guidance needed to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey and ensure sustained growth. Where you're looking to transform an idea into a thriving enterprise or seeking the capital to expand your existing business, our center is the launchpad for aspirations.
Historically Underutilized Business Zones Program (HUB Zones) & Procurement Opportunities
Established by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Historically Underutilized Business Zones Program (HUBZones) promotes economic development and creates job opportunities by providing federal contracting preferences to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification. To qualify for the HUBZone program, your business must:
- Be a small business.
- Be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, a Native Hawaiian organization, or an Indian tribe.
- Have its principal office located in a HUBZone
- Have at least 35 percent of its employees lived in a HUBZone
To see if your business or property is located within Lowell's HUBZone view the HUB Zone map.
Property & Casualty Initiative, LLC
The Property and Casualty Initiative, LLC (PCI) offers financing to companies that are unable to obtain the required financing from conventional sources. Loans can be used for working capital, equipment and real estate purchases. Priority is given to companies located in an economic target area (i.e. Lowell ETA), minority and women-owned businesses and companies that are creating new jobs and/or employ low and moderate-income Massachusetts residents.