About the Region
The Lawton area maintains a wide variety of national well-known department stores and major restaurant companies that provide the residents a wide selection of opportunities in shopping and dining. The local shops and smaller restaurants bring the local charm and cultural influence to the visitor and resident alike.
Lawton has a captive retail base stretching out roughly 50 miles and touching seven counties in southwestern Oklahoma. Lawton is the largest retail hub between Oklahoma City and Dallas.
As the major retail hub in southwest Oklahoma, Lawton maintains a wide spectrum of retailers from the nationally know big box stores to the home grown specialty stores.
There are 3 major military installations within a one hour drive of Lawton and numerous industrial parks with available properties for development. Lawton has become the regional employment and retail center for Southwest Oklahoma. Lawton supports a retail community of almost 350,000 people, all within a 45 minute drive.
More About the Region
Today, Oklahoma continues to benefit not only from its cultural diversity, but also from its wealth of natural resources. Oklahoma has a land area of 69,919 square miles and ranks 18th in the nation in size. It is the third largest natural gas-producing state in the nation and it enjoys the status of ranking fourth in the nation in the production of wheat as well as cattle and calf production. It can also boast in its pecan, peanut, and peach productions. Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state, with over one million surface areas of water and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined. Twenty-four percent of the state is covered by forests and it has four mountain ranges including the Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas, and the Kiamichis.
The town of Lawton was founded August 6, 1901, when the last of the Indian lands in the Oklahoma Territory, the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache reservation, was opened by the federal government for settlement. The Lawton town site was located on a section of prairie south of Fort Sill, a military post which had been set up as a cavalry fort in 1869. Lots within the 320-acre town site itself were sold at public auction. In 1972, voters adopted a charter and the council-manager system, which is still in place today. By 1950, population had increased to almost 35,000 and mushroomed to over 80,000 by 1990. Much of its growth came with the establishment of the Field Artillery School at Fort Sill. Throughout the years Lawton and Fort Sill have worked in cooperation to become one of the finest military communities in the country.
The greater Lawton region includes smaller towns of Cache, Duncan, Altus, Geronimo, Walters, Elgin, Chickasha, Marlow, Rush Springs and Wichita Falls, TX.
INCENTIVES AND FINANCING PROGRAMS
Business Incentive and Tax Information Guide
This Business Incentives and Tax Information Guide is more than a summary of Oklahoma's business location advantages; it represents our state's commitment to being a flexible partner with companies and entrepreneurs who already call Oklahoma their home, as well as businesses considering relocating here. Contact the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation to receive a copy of the guide.
Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program - 10 Year Cash Incentive
Companies can directly receive up to 5% of total payroll in the form of quarterly cash payments for up to ten years. Companies qualify if they are central administrative offices, manufacturers, research and development agencies (including wind power manufacturers), distribution centers (with 40 percent out-of-state delivery) or certain service companies (with out-of-state sales exceeding 75 percent of total sales), and must achieve a payroll (within three years) of $2.5 million or more.
Oklahoma Quality Jobs - High Impact Program
Lowers annualized payroll threshold to $1 million for businesses that produce new direct jobs to the State that are equal to or greater than 1% of the total labor force of the county in which they locate. Payout is 2.5% of taxable wages for 6 years.
Oklahoma Qualtiy Jobs - Small Employer Program
Allows qualifying small businesses (90 employees or less) to receive up to 5% cash-back incentive for up to 7 years to locate or expand in Oklahoma. Companies, other than R&D firms, locating in Oklahoma County must be in an Opportunity Zone to qualify for this program.
21ST Century Quality Jobs Incentive Program - 10 Year Cash Incentive
Created to attract growth industries by rewarding businesses with a highly skilled workforce. Provides cash back up to 10% on new payroll for up to 10 years, or twice the Net Benefit of the Quality Jobs program. The new jobs must pay an average wage of the lesser of $94,418 or 300% of the county’s average wage. This incentive targets knowledge-based service industries, such as professional, scientific and technical services, specialty hospitals, music, film, and performing arts. Out-of-state sales must be 50%.
Investment/New Jobs Tax Credits
Provides growing manufacturers a significant tax credit based on either an investment in depreciable property OR on the addition of full-time equivalent employees engaged in manufacturing, processing, or aircraft maintenance. A five-year tax credit on the greater of 1% per year of investment in qualified property or a credit of $500 per year per new job, doubled in an Enterprise Zone.
Expansion and Relocation Financing
All businesses, large and small alike, need financing. But what financing resources might be available for you? A wide variety of federal, state, and local tax credit and loan programs could be at your fingertips. Contact us to learn more about these funds and credits and how you might be able to best leverage them to improve your business.
Oklahoma is widely recognized for its outstanding incentive program and pro-business environment.
Businesses can choose between a cash incentive or a tax credit package, and in some cases, qualifying businesses can take advantage of both.
These attractive incentives drive bottom-line benefits for industries. Contact the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation for a customized incentive analysis based on these and other locally available incentive programs.