Office of the Governor Rick Perry

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Texas Enterprise Fund

Summary of Achievement

The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) provides the state’s leaders with a “deal closing fund” that has the flexibility and financial resources to help strengthen the state’s economy.  The fund can be used for a variety of economic development projects including infrastructure and community development, job training programs and business incentives. Before funds can be awarded, the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker must unanimously agree to support the use of the TEF for each specific project.

The TEF is used primarily to attract new business to the state or assist with the substantial expansion of an existing business as part of competitive recruitment. State leadership will also be able to use Enterprise funds to leverage other resources for an economic development project.

To be eligible for TEF support, a project must demonstrate a significant return on the state’s investment and strong local support.  The review process will consider a variety of factors, including job creation and wages, capital investment, financial strength of the applicant, applicant’s business history, analysis of the relevant business sector, and public and private sector financial support.

The Challenge

State-level economic development tools were limited prior to the creation of the Enterprise Fund in 2003. The prospect of the Toyota facility in San Antonio solidified the need for a large “deal closing” fund for the state. The TEF has put Texas among the top states for business climate and on to the short lists of both companies and site consultants. The program has allowed the state’s leadership to support economic development projects in a fast paced and changing economy.

Action / Initiative

Gov. Perry has made job creation and economic development a cornerstone of his administration. At his request, the Texas Legislature established the Texas Enterprise Fund as a means of providing financial resources to attract new businesses to the state and assist existing businesses with substantial expansion efforts. The fund has vastly expanded the state’s economic development tools, and as a result, Texas now has one of the best economic environments in the nation.

The Outcome

Texas was named 2007 State of the Year by Business Facilities magazine and was ranked by corporate relocation specialists as No. 1 for business climate in Site Selection magazine’s 2007 executive survey.  The Lone Star State is poised for continued success, dominating Forbes’ 2008 Best Cities for Jobs list with five cities in the top 20. Texas is also home to the most Fortune 500 companies in the nation.

Since the inception of the fund, the state has been able to respond quickly and aggressively to opportunities that have brought thousands of jobs and billions in capital investment to Texas.