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Legislators OK Angel Investment Tax Credit, other startup incentives

Nebraska legislators, shown here during Gov. Dave Heineman’s State of the State Address in January, approved several bills of interest to startups on Wednesday. Photo from the State of Nebraska on Flickr.

A pair of bills of particular interest to the local startup scene passed final reading in the Nebraska unicameral on Wednesday. Legislators approved the Angel Investment Tax-Credit Act and the Business Innovation Act as well as a couple of other bills with implications for entrepreneurs.

The Angel Investment Act (LB389) gives 35-percent (40 in distressed areas) refundable state income tax credits to angel investors that invest at least $25,000 ($50,000 for angel funds) in qualifying Nebraska-based startups. Investors can receive up to $300,000 ($350,000 for married couples) in tax credits for such investments.

The Small Business Innovation Act (LB387) is a multi-pronged innovation bill that allocates $7 million for a combination of prototype funds, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) matching funds and other innovation dollars.

Other bills of note passing final reading on Wednesday were the Economic Gardening Act (LB345), which sets aside funding of $200,000 to help up to 40 high-growth businesses with market research, and the Internship Bill (LB386), which provides up to $3,500 in grant money for companies to fund newly created internships.

“This is a very positive outcome for the state of Nebraska,” Tom Chapman, director of entrepreneurship and innovation for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, said in an email Wednesday. “As Omaha and the Silicon Prairie are starting to create momentum, it is critical that the state continues to improve its public policy regarding entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Chapman continued: “The passage, not just of LB 389 (the Angel Tax Credit Bill) but also LB 387 (the Small Business Innovation Act) and other bills, marks a significant improvement regarding Nebraska laws that affect the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is great news and should be seen as a positive step for the state.”

For more on the legislation from other outlets, see:

For our previous coverage of the legislation, including a special, four-part series from Chapman and commentary from Silicon Prairie News co-founder Dusty Davidson, see: