20 University City and Center City startups awarded $1.7 million in Pennsylvania tax credits


20 University City and Center City companies received $1.7 million in tax credits from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in 2014.   Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Twenty University City and Center City startup companies received a combined $1.7 million in tax credits from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in 2014.

The companies received the grants as part of the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Tax Credit Program. About $25 million in tax credits is available annually to companies in the KIZ program. Tax credits can be sold if a company doesn't have any tax liabilities. A third-party, independent broker can also be hired to sell the tax credits on the company's behalf.

More than $6.2 million in KIZ tax credits have been awarded to 39 University City KIZ companies since 2006.

“Securing non-dedicated funds through the sale of KIZ Tax Credits can be a major boost for early stage companies operating in the life science and tech sectors,” Robert McGrath, chair of the University City KIZ Executive Committee and senior associate vice provost at Drexel University, said. “The KIZ Tax Credit Program is incentive for companies to move into and stay in the City of Philadelphia, and a major economic asset to our entrepreneurial community.”

Companies can get up to $100,000 per year in tradable credits. Other awardees can invest those funds in new employees or to help with the purchase of equipment. Robert Moore, co-founder and CEO of RJMetrics, and 2014 awardee, said the grants will help create jobs.

“We will use the KIZ Tax Credit to help fund our aggressive team growth,” Moore said. “We grew from 40 to 90 people in 2014 and are planning for further growth in 2015.”

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