CREC Project News and Updates

C2ER Report Shows How State Incentive Programs Continue to Evolve

November 13, 2015

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), one of three associations that the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) manages, today released the State of State Business Incentives 2015 report which reflects the present status of the more than 1,900 state business incentives in operation around the U.S.

The report is based a recent review that C2ER performed for its State Business Incentives Database, an online portal that serves economic developers, business development finance professionals, and economic researchers.

Incentive Programs Continue to Grow:

Since the new millennium, the overall number of state incentive programs targeted to businesses has more than doubled, from less than one thousand in 1999 to nearly two thousand today. However, the research found that some states sought to reduce their incentives programs. The report takes a closer look at the different types and purposes of business incentive programs administered by states.

State Incentives Report1 It also examines how state incentive portfolios have changed during the past few years in response to recent economic trends, with notable examples of recent state incentive activity.

For example, C2ER researchers also discovered that incentive programs created after the Great Recession addressed different needs than programs seen in previous years.  Read the full report​. The State Business Incentives Database is C2ER’s continuous effort to track nationwide business incentive offerings. C2ER collects data from state agency websites, statutes and codes, budget documents, and interviews with agency representatives.

C2ER checks each program listing to ensure accuracy, completeness, and that the incentive active. Importantly, C2ER coordinates with state-level stakeholders as part of its accuracy process. The site has three features that benefit researchers:

  • State-to-State Comparison Analysis Tool that allows users to select any two states or territories and compare their incentive program offerings.
  • Totals by State Analysis Tool that allows for graphical analysis of any number of states and territories.
  • An Excel-compatable Export Function that helps researchers and economists flexibly analyze and compare data.


Program History:

CREC and the Pew Charitable Trusts have worked together since 2013 on incentives policy and practice initiatives that engage forward-thinking teams of economic development policymakers and practitioners.

 State Business Incentives

The incentives learning, research, and training program looks at effective ways that states can better manage and assess their economic development incentive policies and practices, improve their methods of collecting and reporting results from incentive investments, and developing national standards and best practices that can become road maps for states nationwide.

About This Project

C2ER State Incentives Database:
Start Date: Oct 2004 — End Date: Ongoing

On behalf of C2ER, CREC has developed a national database of state business incentives with profiles on more than 1900 programs. The database ( was designed to give economic developers a one-stop resource for comparing incentive programs. Data provided in the database includes a fully searchable text description of the program as well as other […]

About the Client

Council for Community and Economic Research

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) promotes excellence in community and economic research by improving data quality and availability by fostering learning about regional economic analytic methods.