The state designated Enterprise Zone addresses deteriorated, distressed, and blighted industrial and manufacturing areas. The designation aims to improve standards of living through revitalization, attraction of new business and creating job opportunities.
The Enterprise Zone of Bucks County was established in 1997 and is administered by the Redevelopment Authority in coordination with an advisory committee of volunteer members representative of the participating municipalities. The Enterprise Zone boundaries encompass over 16 square miles in portions of seven Lower Bucks County municipalities. The municipalities that comprise the Enterprise Zone include Bensalem Township, Bristol Township, Bristol Borough, Falls Township, Morrisville Borough, Penndel Borough and Tullytown Borough. Nearly one-third of the County’s total labor force lives in the Enterprise Zone municipalities.
The Enterprise Zone of Bucks County established a local business development plan that is centered on six strategic objectives:
- Provide technical and financial resources for small businesses and start-up businesses in the Enterprise Zone area;
- Implement the Bucks County Brownfields Program to reclaim or turn back to active use vacant or abandoned industrial and commercial properties located in the Enterprise Zone area;
- Renew economic life into business districts and reinforce sense of place and identity;
- Create and implement a strategic marketing plan to better communicate to existing businesses in the Enterprise Zone area, community residents and to attract new businesses;
- Assist in the development of a modern state-of-the-art deep-water port and provide assistance to export-oriented business in the Enterprise Zone; and,
- Create and maintain a comprehensive strategic plan for the Enterprise Zone area which takes into consideration such factors as quality of life, education and job training, infrastructure and transportation needs, zoning, natural resources and community development.
The Enterprise Zone of Bucks County’s business development strategy is designed to maximize new private sector investment by optimally utilizing public sector resources available within Enterprise Zone areas.
For businesses, benefits of the Enterprise Zone designation include:
- Eligible businesses located within the zone receive priority consideration when bidding on state government contracts. This benefit continues for five years after the zone exits the program.
- Eligible businesses located within the zone receive priority consideration when applying for financial assistance to clean up contaminated sites under Act II. This benefit is active up to five years after the zone has exited the program.
- Eligible businesses receive priority consideration for any resource administered by the commonwealth that would assist in leveraging imminent business investment and job creation in an Enterprise Zone.
- Eligible businesses located within the zone can apply for the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program. This is an incentive program that provides tax credits to businesses or private companies investing in rehabilitating, expanding or improving buildings or land located within the designated Enterprise Zone.