Commercial Recruitment Program

Commercial Recruitment Program


The City of Harlingen and the Development Corporation of Harlingen, Inc. (“HEDC”) would like to encourage new and/or existing commercial enterprises to locate or expand in Harlingen.  Retail activity along the US – Mexico border is a basic economic driver which attracts, promotes, develops, and supports new commercial facilities and job growth and retention in the greater Harlingen Area.  Some of these new and/or retained retail enterprises may qualify for assistance from HEDC based on the number and types of jobs newly-created or retained and the type of commercial entity. Applicants’ commercial operations must qualify under the provisions of the Development Corporation Act (“Act”).  Developers may apply on behalf of their tenants/retailers, but are not eligible to be the recipient of the grants without the full knowledge and consent of the retailer and approval from the HEDC Board and City Commission.

To encourage new retail development into the City of Harlingen, the HEDC may rebate a portion of the sales tax revenues generated by qualifying projects for a period of up to five years, and in an amount not to exceed half of the city tax revenue generated by the retailer annually, or $100,000, whichever is less.  Amounts greater than $100,000 per year will not carry forward to the next year.

A retailer and/or developer would be evaluated and graded on criteria established by the HEDC annually.  The term granted and portion rebated is subject to the score generated by the retailer’s information, and subject to a written performance agreement and proper governmental approval.  The basic scoring criteria is below:

Basic Performance Criteria
Number of FT Employees (with benefits) 5-25 26-50 51+
Points: 10 20 30
Number of PT Employees 10-100 101-200 201+
Points 5 10 20
Capital Investment $250,000 - $1 Million $1M - $5M $5M+
Points 5 10 15
Taxable Retail Sales $100,000 - $1 Million $1M - $5M $5M+
Points 5 10 15
Location Points
Opportunity Zones 10
Downtown District 5
Medical District 5
Bass Pro Shop Zone 20
Aerotropolis 20
Valle Vista Mall 20
Harlingen Corners 20

Upon submittal of a letter of interest and other information as outlined below by the applicant, staff will determine if the applicant qualifies under the Act and will grade the project and present findings to the HEDC Board of Directors for consideration.  The rebate for this program will, in part, be determined based on the following:

Community Involvement Points
Chamber Membership 2
HMA Membership 1
TSTC Foundation 2
HCISD Foundation 2
Museum Support 2
Discovery Center Donor 5
Boys & Girls Club 2
Literacy Center 2
Loaves & Fishes 2
Animal Shelter 2
Habitat for Humanity 5
Crime Stoppers 5
Other Non-Profit Support Range from 1 to 5
If score is: Then, rebate will be equal to:
90 or higher 100% of ½ of the city sales tax revenue generated and paid by the applicant
70-89 75% of ½ of the city sales tax revenue generated and paid by the applicant
50-69 50% of ½ of the city sales tax revenue generated and paid by the applicant
25-49 25% of ½ of the city sales tax revenue generated and paid by the applicant

In order to be considered, the applicant must submit a letter of interest outlining the project.  Plans (site, floor, utility, off-site and on-site improvements) and cost estimates must also be submitted.  Other restrictions may apply, and this document serves only as a guide for the HEDC. Financials and proformas for the project, the retailer, and the developer should be included in the applicant’s package.  A definitive performance agreement would need to be drafted and approved by the EDC Board of Directors and the City Commission before any rebate is considered officially adopted. This program is subject to change and cancellation at any time, if the HEDC Board of Directors chooses.