The day-to-day stress of the business world can make it easy to lose sight of the fact that commerce does not occur in a bubble; that free and open markets are not really that free and open; and, in the end, government sets nearly all of the ground rules.
To get one sense of how government involves itself in business, check out The Subsidy Tracker.
It is a search platform designed by the nonprofit organization Good Jobs First; and, is an invaluable tool when doing competitive analysis.
An ongoing work-in-progress since 2010, the Subsidy Tracker compiles information on grants, special tax credits, loans, loan guarantees, and bailouts into an easily usable online search engine by company name.
The most recent update adds information on federal subsidies, in addition to state and local government subsidy data.
Subsidy Tracker now features data on 441,000 payments from 704 programs across the country. More data is being added regularly.
In addition to the business intelligence it provides, The Subsidy Tracker makes for some simply enjoyable reading.
For example, the platform identifies more than 250 “megadeals,” or subsidy awards with a total state and local cost of $75 million or more each. And, details “Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations.”
Check it out.