PROGRAMS AND INCENTIVES
Waterbury is a great city for business, boasting a skilled, educated workforce, strategic location, and a dynamic, diverse economy. The Economic Development team, headed by the Mayor's designated Director of Economic Development, strives to expand and diversify the tax base and employment opportunities for the City through marketing and new business attraction, business retention and expansion, workforce development services, and new small business formation.
We are eager to assist new and existing companies, large and small, in maximizing their economic potential. If you are interested in starting, expanding or relocating a business to Waterbury, we offer many free and confidential resources.
The Waterbury Development Corporation (WDC) is the City's primary partner for economic development. WDC was founded as a partnership of the public and private sectors to help the City, its businesses, and its residents revitalize the city. They administer loan funds, as well as local tax abatement programs.
Tax Abatements are incentives that reduce taxes. The City of Waterbury, through state legislation, offers two programs for manufacturing projects, and in certain cases, commercial and residential projects. Such incentives provide an advantage and attract private investment for the expansion and relocation of businesses to Waterbury, and, new construction or substantial rehabilitation of properties. The Enterprise Zone Program and the Urban Jobs Program and both continue to be successful tools that result in business retention, business creation, job creation, and the enhancement of neighborhoods.
The Enterprise Zone Program offers real and personal property tax incentives to applicants that undertake a project. It is the second largest zone in the state of Connecticut. It consists of more than 1,600 properties. The general boundaries are Route 8 (westerly), South Main Street/Thomaston Avenue/ Cherry Street to include Census Tract 3501 (easterly), the Waterbury/ Watertown border (northerly), and the Waterbury/ Naugatuck border (southerly).
The Urban Jobs Program is designed to primarly assist manufacturers with tax abatements (although some wholesale businesses and certain financial and business-related services may also qualify on a case by case basis).
Small Business Express Program - The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is the state's lead agency for the development and implementation of policies, strategies and programs that support business growth and innovation. This program provides loans and grants to small business to spur job creation and growth. Companies may receive loans up to $250,000 for the purpose of working capital, equipment and machinery purchases, leashehold improvements, etc. In addition, companies hiring new, full time employees (based on 35 hours) can receive up to a $900 tax credit, per employee, per month for three years.
The Downtown Façade Improvememt Program is designed to encourage exterior building improvements that address the appearance and condition of commercial, retail, and mixed use buildings in our downtown neighborhood. The program also aims to promote economic prosperity while preserving downtown's unique character and historic roots. These grants are competitive and funds are available in the form of forgivable no-interest loans for up to $48,000 per façade.
The Downtown Sign and Awning Program targets those building owners that may not require full façade renovation but just have need for updated storefront signage and awnings. The forgivable loan amount for this program is $1900.
State of Connecticut Historic Tax Credits - The State of Connecticut offers 25% credit for historic and architecturally significant buildings for mixed use with a combination of affordable residential units and commercial development.