Businesses looking to relocate or expand in Kern County can find a wide variety of incentives available. The Kern Economic Development Corporation can direct businesses to select federal, state and local economic incentives available to attract new jobs, investment and development.


Kern County Logo

  • Employment Training Panel (ETP)– funds offsetting the cost of developing and implementing customized training programs
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC)– federal funds up to $9,600 per individual based on qualified first-year earned wages
  • Workforce Investment Act (WIA)– reimbursement of trainees’ wages during their training
  • On-the-Job-Training Program (OJT)– enables business to hire new employees who qualify and get reimbursed up to 50% of that employee’s wages during the training contract
  • America’s Job Center– free assistance with customized recruitment plans, positions advertising, qualifying applicants and hiring

New California Incentives

  • California Competes Tax Credit
    The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to come to California or stay and grow in California. Unlike the Enterprise Zone program this program is statewide. Thus, there are no geographic restrictions. Tax credit agreements will be negotiated by GO-Biz and approved by the “California Competes Tax Credit Committee.”
  • (Partial) Sales and Use Tax Exemption
    A partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing biotechnology and research and development equipment purchases is available. The partial exemption applies only to the state sales and use tax rate portion, currently at 4.1875 percent. The exemption does not apply to any local, city, county, or district tax. All manufacturers (NAICS Codes 3111 – 3399, inclusive), Research and Development in Biotechnology and Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (NAICS Codes 541711 and 541712, respectively)
  • (Full) Sales and Use Tax Exclusion – Advanced Manufacturing & Transportation and Alternative Energy
    A sales tax exclusion from both state and local sales tax collection on equipment purchases for qualifying businesses that conduct qualifying activities. Sales tax rates vary by jurisdiction (typically 7% to 9.25%).
  • New Employment Hiring Tax Credit (NEC)
    The New Employment Credit (NEC) is available for each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2021, to a qualified taxpayer that hires a qualified full-time employee on or after January 1, 2014, and pays or incurs qualified wages attributable to work performed by the qualified full-time employee in a designated census tract or economic development area, and that receives a tentative credit reservation for that qualified full-time employee.

  • California Research & Development Tax Credit
    Corporate income tax credits are available to companies that have incurred qualified research expenses in California. A taxpayer qualifies for the credit if it paid or incurred qualified research expenses while conducting qualified research in California. The taxpayer may receive up to 15 percent of the excess of current year research expenditures over a computed base amount.
  • PG&E Enhanced Economic Development Rate (E-EDR)
    For qualifying businesses expanding or locating in the Central Valley, Pacific Gas & Electric offers a reduction of industrial electrical rates of up to 30% for up to five years.
  • County of Kern Economic Development Incentive Program

Foreign Trade Zone

(California City, County of Kern Department of Airports, Mojave Airport, Rockefeller Group at Tejon Ranch, Shafter)

  • Manufacturers/importers don’t pay customer duties or government excise taxes and avoid tax liabilities on final product exports
  • Duty Deferral- pay U.S. Customs duties only when merchandise is shipped into Customs territory. Inventory is exempt from payment until shipped
  • Duty Reduction (inverted tariff)- pay duty rate applicable to either the imported components or the finished product, whichever is lower
  • Duty Elimination- no requirement to pay U.S. Customs duties on exported merchandise, or on merchandise that is damaged, scrapped or unused
  • Increased Flexibility- for merchandise subject to just-in-time delivery constraints, quotas or marking requirements. Customs clearance may be expedited
  • U.S. Quota- store most merchandise even if the goods are subject to quota restrictions. Merchandise may be shipped when a quota is opened.

Financing Programs

  • Industrial Development Bonds
    Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs) are tax-exempt securities issued up to $10 million by a governmental entity to provide money for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation and equipping of manufacturing and processing facilities for private companies. IDBs can be issued by the I-Bank, local Industrial Development Authorities, or by Joint Powers Authorities.
  • SBA 504 Loans
    SBA (Small Business Administration) 504 loans are marketed, processed, closed and serviced by Certified Development Corporations (CDC). Through the SBA 504 program, CDCs provide up to 90% of fixed-asset financing costs. The second mortgage, long-term, fixed-rate financing nature of the program allows banks to participate in business expansion by reducing risk exposure. The benefit to the borrower is a lower down payment requirement (10%) and a longer-term, fixed-rate loan, which translates into reduced monthly payments.
  • Small Business Loan Guarantee (SBLGP)
    The California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (SBLGP) assists businesses with the creation and retention of jobs while encouraging investment into low- to moderate-income communities. The SBLGP enables small businesses to not only obtain a loan it could not otherwise obtain but more importantly helps to establish a favorable credit history with a lender so the business may obtain loans in the future on its own without the assistance of the program.
  • Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program
    The statute allows the Energy Commission to use grants, loans, loan guarantees, revolving loans, and other appropriate measures. Eligible recipients include: public agencies, private businesses, public-private partnerships, vehicle and technology consortia, workforce training partnerships and collaboratives, fleet owners, consumers, recreational boaters, and academic institutions. The Energy Commission must prepare and adopt an Investment Plan and convene an Advisory Committee to assist in preparing the Investment Plan.
  • Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) Revolving Loan Program
    The RMDZ Revolving Loan Program makes capital available for California manufacturers located in RMDZs. The program provides direct loans to eligible businesses that manufacture recycled raw materials, produce new recycled products, or that reduce waste from the manufacture of a product.For information about the Kern County RMDZ program send an email to the RMDZ Administrator at or call:661-862-8900.
For supplemental information on the above listed programs or for a list of additional programs, contact Melinda or click here to download all California business incentives, including energy incentives and taxes.