In 2015, the Georgia General Assembly Legislative Session lasted from January 12 through April 2. The Invest Georgia Program was active during this Session through House Bill 439, which was amended late in the Session to include a $55,000,000 allotment for the Invest Georgia Program. This $55,000,000 allotment would be considered a second tranche of funding to fulfill the original Invest Georgia mission started in 2013 of creating a $100,000,000 state-based fund to help grow Georgia-based companies over the next decade. Invest Georgia was allocated $10,000,000 in the 2014 Legislative Session and is now actively conducting due diligence to invest this initial allotment.
In Georgia, the Governor has 40 days from the end of the Legislative Session to sign any passed legislation. The deadline for this time period this year is May 12. Governor Deal has yet to sign HB 439 and any support the community can give to encourage the passage of this bill would be greatly appreciated. This bill is highly supportive of the entire startup and investment community in Georgia.
Background on House Bill 439:(2015)
– HB 439 is a “dual” legislative bill in that it supports two different types of programs in Georgia. HB 439 would fund the Invest Georgia Program with a $55M allotment, and HB 439 would also fund a completely separate program by the name of “New Markets Jobs Act”. The two programs are entirely separate, but both are contained in HB 439.
– Invest Georgia is a program created by statute (HB 318) passed in 2013 that allows the State of Georgia to create a $100M venture and private equity fund that would exclusively fund Georgia-based companies. The Invest Georgia Program within HB 439 has wide community support and would be very supportive of early stage and growth stage Georgia-based companies. More about Invest Georgia can be found here:
HB 318 (2013)
– The Georgia New Market Jobs Act program of HB 439 is an initiative supported by out-of-state investment firms (Advantage Capital, based in Louisiana and Enhanced Capital, based in New York) that mirrors a Federal Program by the name of the New Markets Tax Credit Program. Essentially, Advantage Capital and Enhanced wish to create a Georgia state-based tax credit program similar to the Federal New Market Jobs Act. The New Markets Jobs Act would fund Georgia companies in low income and rural areas only—very similar criteria to the federal program. Both Advantage Capital and Enhanced Capital have been active in Georgia politics since at least 2002 and were formerly supportive of earlier legislation in recent years known “CAPCOs”.
We hope that Governor Deal will continue his support for the Invest Georgia Program by agreeing to fulfill the prior commitment to help grow Georgia based companies. The Invest Georgia Program funds and supports homegrown entrepreneurial, high growth Georgia companies that create future high wage jobs, create a future tax base for Georgia, creates jobs within state borders and retains our educated workforce in Georgia.