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Subject 413-5-1 STRATEGIC INDUSTRIES LOAN FUND

Rule 413-5-1-.01 Scope of Rule

This regulation governs the operation of the OneGeorgia Strategic Industries Loan Fund ("Loan Fund") as established by the OneGeorgia Authority (O.C.G.A. 50-34-1) through its resolution adopted on January 8, 2005 and revised on July 24, 2006. In said resolution, the OneGeorgia Authority authorized the Georgia Department of Community affairs (hereinafter referred to as "agent") as the implementing entity for purposes of the Strategic Industries Loan Fund's operation and administration.

Rule 413-5-1-.02 Definitions

The definitions for purposes of this regulation are identical in all respects to the terms defined in O.C.G.A. 50-34-2.

(1) Rural County, which is not defined in O.C.G.A. 50-34-2, shall be defined using the most recent data and estimates from the U.S. Bureau of the Census to mean a county with a population less than 50,000 where 10% or more of the population lives in poverty.
(2) Strategic Industries. Identified strategic industry sectors in Georgia include but are not limited to: aerospace, agribusiness, energy and environmental, healthcare, eldercare, life sciences, logistics and transportation. In addition, supporting industry clusters may include, but are not limited to: advanced telecommunications, business and financial services, homeland security, multimedia and software development. Individual companies within a strategic industry will typically demonstrate one or more of the following criteria:
a) high potential for commercialization;
b) the creation of "quality jobs" that demonstrate full benefits (including health insurance and retirement) and pay above average wages for the subject county;
c) successful experience in a Georgia incubator or Center of Innovation; or
d) existence of a unique partnership with one of the State's research universities and state colleges.

Rule 413-5-1-.03 Purpose

The purpose of the Strategic Industries Loan Fund (the "Loan Fund") is to provide loan assistance for the purchase of fixed assets to eligible applicants that are being considered as a relocation or expansion site for a emerging or development-stage company in a strategic industry targeted by Georgia. The Loan Fund is intended to be used only when needed to fill a financing gap that is unmet by the private sector (including venture capital, angel or institutional investors, traditional commercial financing, developer financing, etc.) and when the health, welfare and economic security of the citizens of the state are promoted through the recruitment, development and retention of emerging and development-stage companies in strategic industries that are creating higher quality jobs. (O.C.G.A. 50-34-1et seq.)

Rule 413-5-1-.04 Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants and recipients of funds awarded under this program shall include, but not be limited to, general-purpose local governments (municipalities and counties), local government authorities and joint or multi-county development authorities. All local government units that are party to an application must be in compliance, where applicable, with the requirements regarding comprehensive planning (O.C.G.A. 50-8-1et seq.), report of local government finances (O.C.G.A. 36-81-8 [b]), local service delivery strategies (O.C.G.A. 36-70-1et seq.), government management indicators survey (O.C.G.A. 36-81-8 [h]), report of registered authority finances and local government authorities registration (O.C.G.A. 36-80-8et seq.).

Rule 413-5-1-.05 Fund Availability

(1) Funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Authority will be made available to eligible applicants for projects when a strategic industry cannot locate or expand without special financial assistance because the private or venture markets do not offer sufficient financing to meet the company's needs.
(2) Loans are not limited in amount. A recommended loan amount should be included in a letter of support from a state agency or organization whose statutory powers and duties include community and economic development or the enhancement of Georgia's strategic industry sectors. (See section 413-5-1-.08(4) below.) Final approval of loan amounts is at the discretion of the Authority. Loan amounts generally should not exceed 20% of the asset needs of the company's Georgia location.
(3) The criteria in this rule (413-5-1)are designed to assist the Authority in making its decision and only constitute minimum standards. Additional factors may be considered depending on the nature of particular projects and their relative merit compared to competing proposals and depending on the availability of funding at the time of application.
(4) The Authority will establish and announce funding availability. Applications will be accepted throughout the fiscal year and will be reviewed based upon the criteria provided in Rule 413-5-1-.09.
(5) Eligible applicants must apply for assistance under this program in a format and manner described by the OneGeorgia Authority. Application manuals and guidelines may be obtained from the Authority and are on this website:

The OneGeorgia Authority

Strategic Industries Loan Fund

1200-B Hillcrest Parkway

Dublin, Georgia 31021

(478) 274-7734

www.One Georgia.org

(6) The application guide provided will include information outlining program requirements, forms, mailing addresses and other necessary information.

Rule 413-5-1-.06 Eligible Activities

Loan funds may be used only for privately owned or publicly owned/privately leased fixed assets (i.e., land, buildings, leasehold improvements or machinery and equipment).

Rule 413-5-1-.07 Loan Terms

(1) Terms for the Loans will be determined during the underwriting process based upon the nature of the assets financed, the needs of the sub-recipient business and the risk associated with the project. In general, funds will be granted to recipient local governments or authorities with conditions that determine the terms and covenants required in the loan to the sub-recipient business, including eligible uses, collateral requirements, and private-investment and job-creation commitments.
(2) Loans will be secured, at a minimum, by the assets to be financed and with other security as needed on a case-by-case basis.
(3) The recipient local government or authority shall reimburse the total amount of the loan funds to OneGeorgia; provided, however, that the recipient's reimbursement obligation shall be limited to payments made by the Company under the loan. Reimbursement by the recipient shall be made in quarterly payments in amounts equivalent to payments made by the Company under the loan, less any fees that might be agreed upon in writing between the recipient and One Georgia. The recipient may satisfy this condition by requiring the Company to repay the loan amount to OneGeorgia for the account of the recipient.
(4) Generally, the terms of the loan shall contain at least one "triggering event" that will require the acceleration of the term of the loan. For example, a loan with a term of ten years may be accelerated to a three-year term in the event that the sub-recipient Company is acquired, has an initial public offering, or receives regulatory approval from a governing agency (e.g., the FDA or USDA).
(5) As consideration for the Loan, sub-recipient companies may be required to issue an equity interest to the State in the form of warrants, stock or stock options.
(6) Immediate and full repayment of the Loan will be required if the company moves its operations out of Georgia within five years of the award date. The Authority also reserves the right to establish criteria for the recapture of loan funds upon transfer of project assets to an entity other than the sub-recipient business or upon any event that violates state law, the public purpose of the loan program, or any of the loan conditions. All recaptured funds must be returned to the Authority, unless otherwise specified by the Authority.

Rule 413-5-1-.08 Threshold Requirements

(Application must meet all threshold requirements in order to be rated):

(1) The application is from an eligible applicant;
(2) The project takes place within a rural county or a county with less than 500,000 total population that shares a border with a rural county which has endorsed the project and also demonstrates sufficient quantifiable public benefit (as defined in Section 413-5-1-.09(7)) to the rural county to qualify as a regional application;
(3) The proposed sub-recipient business is an emerging or development-stage company in a strategic industry;
(4) Each loan application must include a letter of support and recommendation from a state agency or organization whose statutory powers and duties include community and economic development or the enhancement of Georgia's technology sectors, stating that the proposed project needs the Loan Fund's loan assistance and will (if funded) develop, promote, and/or retain trade, commerce, industry and employment opportunities within the state's strategic industries and promote the general welfare of the state.
(5) The proposed use of funds are for eligible activities and will be carried out in a manner consistent with the state constitution, state law and in accordance with the applicant's (or sub-recipient's) enabling legislation and authority; and
(6) The proposed activities are consistent with local and regional plans developed under the provisions of the Georgia Planning Act and the Service Delivery Strategies developed in accordance with O.C.G.A. 36-70-1et seq.

Rule 413-5-1-.09 Review of Applications

(1) All applications received from applicants will be reviewed to determine the merit of the applications and the proposed use of funds. One Georgia Authority's agent will rate and review all applications that meet the Threshold Requirements outlined in Section 413-5-1-.08. Applications will be rated according to a point system with the maximum number of points available to an application being set at 500. In order to be fundable, an application must receive a minimum score of 300 points. For all applications, the rating criteria may award up to 100 bonus points for projects that meet the bonus criteria outlined in Section 413-5-1-.09(7). The rating criteria are outlined below.
(2) Proprietary information:

Georgia Law requires that "All public records of an agency as defined in subsection (a) of this Code section, except those which by order of a court of this state or by law are prohibited or specifically exempted from being open to inspection by the general public, shall be open for a personal inspection by any citizen of this state at a reasonable time and place; and those in charge of such records shall not refuse this privilege to any citizen" (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(b)). This means that past and current records on Loan Fund projects and applications are required to be open for public inspection.

However, certain proprietary information which is required to be included in an application and must be supplied by a business or developer in order to receive funds and which by law are prohibited or specifically exempted from being open to inspection by the general public (for example, information that constitutes a "trade secret" (O.C.G.A. § 10-1-740et seq.; 16-8-13(a)(4)) is exempt from disclosure under O.C.G.A. Section 50-18-70. Any information an applicant or sub-recipient business believes is exempt from disclosure must be clearly identified as such.

(3) Applications will be reviewed based upon enhancement of economic development opportunities and the project's contribution to the development of the State's strategic industries. Applicable criteria include, but are not limited to:

The soundness of the company's scientific and technical base

The development and commercialization strategy of the company

Market opportunities and commercial potential

The sustainability of the company as evidenced by access to capital, cash position, burn rate, etc.

Demonstration of need for the funds and lack of available funding in the marketplace

Contribution to the State's strategic industry clusters and innovation economy

Experience and expertise of key management and scientific personnel

Numbers and types of jobs created or retained

Total private capital investment

Impact on the state, regional and community economy and tax base

Degree of local financial commitment

Consistency with local and regional development goals and objectives

Project readiness, including, if applicable, the company's timeline for producing a marketable product

Project feasibility

Wage levels compared with average wages of industry in the impacted area

Reasonableness of cost estimates

(4) Project Feasibility (160 Points Maximum).

Applications will be awarded "feasibility" points according to the following scale: poor: 0.0 points; below average: 30.0 points; average: 60.0 points; good: 90.0 points; excellent: 120 points. The criteria outline detailed below will determine where on the "Feasibility" Scale an application ranks:

A) The description of the proposed project and activities are clearly described and documented, and the responsibilities for carrying out each activity are clearly ascribed to a participating entity and each entity has firmly committed in writing to carry out its part. Project narrative should describe:
i) the company's background, history and mission, including how long the principals have been involved, how the work has been funded thus far, and what has been accomplished in the last twelve months;
ii) the need or problem that the company's product addresses and the current state of available options to meet that need or problem (i.e., the market for the company's product);
iii) the company's proposed technology or product and the specific aims;
iv) the competitive advantage of the company's technology or product;
v) the technical, scientific and commercial milestones for the company, at least through commercialization of a product;
vi) the status of the company's intellectual property and whether the company has an established intellectual-property policy;
vii) any regulatory approvals that the company must obtain;
viii) qualifications of key management and scientific personnel;
ix) the proposed costs for the project and the status of all funding sources;
B) Underwriting analysis has determined that:
i) the company's capitalization plan is sound and sufficient to sustain the company at least through commercialization of its product;
ii) the near-term commercialization potential is good and reasonably estimated;
iii) the company's performance and standing is secure in the following areas: capital management, debt capacity, management character/experience, collateral value, economic and market conditions;
iv) the company's development team (principals, officers, production and scientific leaders, developers, contractors, etc.) is committed and has a successful record in the proposed or a similar industry;
v) the proposed business plan, marketing strategy and proforma are realistic; and
vi) the company will be able to repay the Loan Fund loan.
C) Scientific vetting has determined that:
i) the company has a sound scientific and technical base;
ii) the company has a competitive edge in the marketplace;
iii) the company's regulatory strategy is sound;
iv) the intellectual property of the company is strong;
v) the company has a reasonable timeline for research and development, raising capital, applicable regulatory approvals, commercialization of products, etc.;
vi) the company has plans for manufacturing and marketing its product, whether in-house or with a partner; and
vii) the company has a reasonable likelihood of obtaining regulatory approval (e.g., FDA, USDA) of its products (as applicable);
D) Project costs are verified through original source documents, architectural and engineering reports, or certified appraisals; and
E) Project readiness concerns are addressed (as applicable):
i) engineering/architectural/environmental reports are complete;
ii) infrastructure/utility access issues;
iii) specific job and investment commitments have been made;
iv) commitments to fund operations/maintenance, etc.;
v) other public and private sector investors are committed and ready to invest;
vi) all needed real property is acquired or under option;
vii) environmental, regulatory and liability concerns addressed (phase 1, government permits, etc.);
viii) administrative capacity is adequate;
F) Applicant certifies that project complies (or will comply) with all applicable federal, state, and local law and regulations.
G) For regional projects, provisions are in place for joint ownership and revenue- or cost-sharing.
H) The project will generate positive net public benefits as quantified by an acceptable public cost-benefit analysis, model or methodology.
(5) Program Strategy (120 Points Maximum).

Applications will be awarded "Strategy" points according to the following scale: poor: 0.0 points; below average: 30 points; average: 60 points; good: 90 points; excellent: 120 points. In order to determine where on the "strategy" scale a project ranks the following criteria will be analyzed:

A) The proposed project will result in the enhancement of Georgia's strategic industries and the State's innovation economy;
B) The proposed project will benefit from and enhance the state's research institutions;
C) The proposed project is likely to lead to indirect local, regional or statewide impact by:
i) attracting related development/investment;
ii) supporting/enhancing local or regional development strategies and priorities; and
iii) fostering partnerships between the private sub-recipient and Georgia's research universities and state colleges;
D) Financial and programmatic alternatives have been considered for the proposed project and eliminated;
E) The proposed project supports the overall objectives of the OneGeorgia Authority and supports the state's development strategy for:
i) targeted industries and sectors;
ii) rural development; or
iii) regional impact;
F) The project represents an innovative approach to the development and retention of employment opportunities in Georgia's strategic-industry sectors.
(6) Project Impact (120 Points Maximum).

Applications will be awarded "Impact" points according to the following scale: poor: 0.0 points; below average: 30.0 points; average: 60.0 points; good: 90 points; excellent: 120 points. In order to determine where on the impact scale a project ranks the following criteria will be analyzed:

A) The number and quality of jobs to be created or retained including workforce enhancement through higher-than-average wages, job training, skill upgrades, education, etc.;
B) The amount of OneGeorgia and total state assistance per job created or retained;
C) Amount of private leverage represents at least a 3-to-1 match of the Strategic Industries Loan Fund amount (any investments made in the company more than three months prior to the Loan Fund application may not be counted toward the 3-to-1 match requirement);
D) The amount of public leverage;
E) New/retained taxes;
F) Improved regional or state competitiveness;
G) Impact on regional poverty and unemployment rates;
H) Potential secondary benefits;
I) The diversification of local, regional or state economies through support of targeted industries.
(7) Bonus Points (100 Points Maximum). Applications will be awarded bonus points based upon a project's demonstration of exceptional benefits or partnerships such as:
a) significant new job creation for an eligible rural county;
b) exceptional public benefits and economic development potential for an eligible rural county;
c) significant and quantifiable regional cooperation or impact as evidenced by multi-jurisdictional cooperation through project ownership or a revenue- and cost-sharing agreement or other intergovernmental agreement that evidences significant cooperation between two or more counties.
(8) The criteria in this rule (413-5-1) are designed to assist the OneGeorgia Authority and its agent in making a decision and only constitute minimum standards. Additional factors may be considered depending on the nature of particular projects and their relative merit compared to competing proposals and depending on the availability of funding at the time of application. The decisions made by the OneGeorgia Authority shall be final and conclusive.

Rule 413-5-1-.10 Awarding of Funds

(1) Once selected for funding, awarded funds will be made available by the OneGeorgia Authority through an award agreement incorporating by reference the approved final application and adding general conditions plus special conditions as necessary. Such special conditions shall include the terms and conditions of the loan to the sub-recipient business. As part of the award conditions, recipients must file a report on the impact and performance of the project, in a format prescribed by the OneGeorgia Authority.
(2) Because of the limited amount of funds available, the agency may also award an amount less than the amount requested in the application. Applicants will have thirty (30) days from the date of award to accept any special conditions and/or the reduced award amount. If the applicant fails to accept the special conditions or lower award amount within the required period, the OneGeorgia Authority may unilaterally withdraw the award.
(3) The OneGeorgia Authority will prepare loan documents in conjunction with the recipient's local attorney.
(4) As part of the award conditions, the recipient must provide progress reports regarding the project as required by the OneGeorgia Authority.

Rule 413-5-1-.11 Statement of Conditions

In addition to the certifications made on the face of the award statement, the recipient of funds must further certify that:

(1) No applicable state laws, rules, regulations or applicable local ordinances shall be violated in carrying out this project and expending One Georgia Authority Loan Fund monies.
(2) Recipient's internally adopted procurement procedures meet applicable state requirements and will be adhered to and documentation shall be maintained to document such adherence.
(3) Recipient's accounting records shall be maintained in a manner consistent with generally accepted government accounting standards and the Uniform Chart of Accounts established by the Department of Community Affairs (O.C.G.A. 36-81-3).
(4) If the Recipient is a development authority, then the project financed in part by Loan Fund monies shall only be leased or sold or administered as provided by Section 36-62-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, local constitutional amendment, local law passed by the legislature, or other general enabling legislation, as applicable.
(5) The recipient (in accordance with state law) shall undergo an annual financial audit conducted in accordance with government auditing standards established by the comptroller general of the United States. The recipient shall submit copies of all audits that cover all or part of the award period to the agency.
(6) No real or apparent conflict of interest shall be engaged in by any person or party (or any person or party with whom they have family or business ties) who is involved in any aspect of the Loan Fund project. In general, no person who is an elected or appointed official, employee, agent, consultant, officer or any person serving in a similar capacity with any participating public agency that exercises or has exercised any functions or responsibilities with respect to any Loan Fund activities can benefit from a Loan Fund project. Those persons who are in a position to participate in a decision-making process or gain inside information regarding Loan Fund proposed or related activities, who may obtain a personal, financial interest, or benefit from the project, or have any interest in any contract, subcontract or agreement with respect to any Loan Fund project are also prohibited from benefiting from the project. The prohibitions against benefiting from a Loan Fund project would apply to the covered individuals or those with whom they have family or business ties, for one year following their tenure in the covered position.

Exceptions -Upon written request, the agent may grant an exception to the provisions of the above paragraph, on a case-by-case basis, before funds are expended. Exceptions can only be granted when the agent determines that the exception will serve to further the purposes of the Loan Fund Program. To seek an exception, a written request for an exception must be submitted by the applicant to the agent which:

1) Fully discloses the conflict or potential conflict of interest, prior to the applicant undertaking any action which results or may result in a conflict of interest, real or apparent; and
2) Describes how the conflict of interest was publicly disclosed; and
3) Includes a written opinion of the applicant's attorney that the interest for which the exception is sought would not violate state or local law.