Wisconsin CAPCO Program Overwhelmingly Successful

A report discussing the success of Wisconsin’s CAPCO Program was recently released by a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

The National Coalition for Capital, a non-profit nationwide coalition of supporters of public policies that promote access to capital for small businesses, today announced the release of a report detailing the success of the Wisconsin Certified Capital Companies (CAPCO) program. This program encourages the flow of investment capital to promising companies located in the state, creating and preserving good jobs, and generating significant state tax revenue.

In the newly issued report, Professor Donald A. Nichols of the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducts an analysis of the Wisconsin program, which was enacted in 1998.

Ben Dupuy, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Capital, urged policymakers to take note of the results, stating that “Professor Nichols’ report provides clear evidence that Wisconsin’s economy receives benefits far in excess of the amount provided through this small business investment tax credit program. States like Wisconsin that foster access to capital policies for small businesses are leading the way to economic recovery.”

The report summarizes Wisconsin’s overwhelmingly successful experience from $34 million of capital provided by the tax credits under the relatively small state CAPCO program. (While the program allocation was $50 million, comprehensive data was contributed by two of the three CAPCOs, representing $34 million of investments.) Having run a full cycle, the results, based on the data available to Professor Nichols, show substantial and beneficial impacts:

•By 2009, the 23 businesses studied that were funded through the program had hired 898 new in-state workers with payrolls of $61.6 million.
•Actual full and part-time employees of these firms exceeded 3,500.
•The average salary paid to these new workers was $68,650 in 2009.
•As of 2009, these firms have been able to attract $485 million in additional capital from outside, non-governmental sources.
•There is a 14:1 ratio of total capital invested per tax credit.
•Ongoing direct personal income tax paid by new employees (not including retained jobs) is $6.9 million annually.
Concluding that the ongoing annual total of direct and indirect revenue is at least $12.8 million, Professor Nichols notes, “It is important to remember that these firms will continue to exist and grow and will provide a growing stream of tax revenue in the future.”

About the National Coalition for Capital

The National Coalition for Capital is a non-profit, nationwide coalition of supporters of economic development and job creation through long-term access to capital for entrepreneurs and emerging companies. Our mission includes serving as a resource for promising young companies across the nation, as well as entrepreneurs, investors, economic developers and other stakeholders within the emerging investment infrastructure. We also serve as a sounding board for elected officials across the country to share “best practices” within their state or community.

About the Wisconsin Certified Capital Companies Program

The Wisconsin Certified Capital Companies (CAPCO) program is a state economic development tool designed to strengthen the state economy by stimulating the flow of investment capital to local small businesses, creating and preserving high-paying jobs, and increasing state tax revenues. Under a CAPCO program, insurance companies are encouraged to invest in certified capital companies; the state allows the insurance companies to claim tax credits for qualified investments in CAPCO funds. Taken over time, the tax credits generate large pools of private venture capital to be invested in the state. CAPCOs leverage the funds received from insurance companies to invest in qualified small businesses.

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