Basic Search  |  Geographic Searches  |  Advanced Search  |  Megadeals

Subsidy Tracker, introduced in 2010, brings together subsidy recipient data from more than 1,000 state, local and federal economic development programs and other forms of financial assistance to business. We have put the information into a standardized set of categories to allow the user Subsidy Tracker, introduced in 2010, brings together subsidy recipient data from more than 1,000 state, local and federal economic development programs and other forms of financial assistance to business. We have put the information into a standardized set of categories to allow the user to search across many states and programs at the same time.

Subsidy Tracker was created with the invaluable help of Rich Puchalsky of Grassroots Connection. Rich created the system that generates the parent-subsidiary matches (which we also check manually); he built the underlying databases; and he programmed and designed the search pages. He also processes the data collected by Good Jobs First staffers to keep the site up to date.

Accessing the Data

There are three main ways of accessing the data in Subsidy Tracker: using the basic search page; using the geographic searches page; or constructing a custom search using numerous variables listed on the Advanced Search page.

1. Basic Search

The homepage of Subsidy Tracker contains three search boxes. The first allows you to enter all or part of a company name, including parents. Type in the text and hit Search. A list of results will appear. You can click on any of the individual items to see the full entry (see details below). Using the two adjacent dropdowns, you can narrow the search to the state (or the federal government) that awarded the subsidiary and/or the subsidy type. Those types include Megadeals, which we define as state and local subsidy packages worth $100 million or more. These entries draw not only from the official disclosure data otherwise used in Tracker but also fills gaps in that data by using a variety of other information sources.

The homepage also contains a dropdown menu with a list of summary pages for the roughly 3,000 parent companies whose entries are aggregated in Subsidy Tracker.

The parent pages include the following features:

Next to the parent dropdown menu is a link to a page showing the 100 companies with the largest totals of federal, state and local subsidy awards.

2. Geographic Searches

This page allows users to focus a search on state or local subsidies awarded to a company in a specific location. After making a choice in the State or Locality Search dropdown, click Search to get a complete list of entries for that state or use the additional dropdowns that appear to get a summary of entries for a specific subsidy program or a specific city or county. Not all entries contain locality information, so this search may yield incomplete results.

State Summary Pages

The Geographic Searches page also provides access to state summary pages. These pages show aggregate subsidy amounts awarded in the state, whether by a state or local agency; indicate the time period covered; list the 10 parent companies with the most subsidies in the state; and provide a list of all the subsidy awards in the state in descending order by subsidy value. Awards by federal agencies to companies located in the state are not included on these pages.

Next to the state summary dropdown is a link to a page ranking the states by their state/local subsidy totals.

Parent Headquarters Summary Pages

The final feature on the Geographic Search pages is a dropdown menu providing access to summary pages based on the headquarters location of parent companies -- states for U.S.-based companies and countries for foreign-based ones. The pages show the aggregate subsidies awarded to companies linked to parents based in the location. There is a table showing the 10 parents with the largest subsidy totals along with a list of all the individual entries. 

3. Advanced Search

The Advanced Search page allows the user to enter one or more variable to create a custom search for subsidy awards. The variables are as follows:

After choices have been made from the categories above and the search button has been pressed, the site will display a search results page with a limited set of fields:

The recipient company name is hyperlinked to the individual entry for the award, which contains additional information (see below). If a parent name appears, it is linked to the summary page for the parent company. The table can be sorted by any of the columns.

Data Fields for Individual Entries

Government agencies in most cases do not adhere to any standard set of data fields in their subsidy reporting (a notable exception is the federal government's website, discussed below). Each program’s data thus had to be rearranged and relabeled to conform to a standard set of fields we chose. Rarely did a given program provide data for every one of our 25 fields. Individual entries display only those fields for which we have data.

The following is the full set of data fields that may appear:

Company: The name of the company as it appears in the original source, with some obvious typos corrected.

Parent Company: The ultimate owner of the recipient firm, as derived from research using outside sources such as the Croctail compilation of the subsidiary lists that publicly traded companies are required to include in their 10-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These entries are hyperlinked to the summary page for that parent. More details on parent company coverage can be found here.

Subsidy Source: The level of government (state, local or federal) of the agency which awarded the subsidy. Some Megadeal entries have "multiple" in this field to indicate that the subsidy package included state as well as local components.

Location: given that each state/local recipient list is from a specific state, we simply added the state name for those entries. For federal entries see the next field.

State in Which Facility is Located: For federal entries this indicates the physical location of the recipient company rather than the source of the subsidy. Not all entries have this information because it is sometimes absent from the source documents we use to compile the data.

City, County, Street Address and ZIP Code: data relating to the location of the subsidized facility (not the headquarters of the company). These, too, are presented exactly as they appear in the data source, though some obvious typos are corrected.

NAICS: The North American Industry Classification System is the federal government’s standard system for classifying companies according to the nature of their business activity. A limited number of subsidy programs include this information in their reporting system.

Project description: A limited number of programs describe the activity of the subsidized facility. For film subsidy programs this is the name of the film or other production.

Year: The year in which a specific subsidy (or portion of a multi-year subsidy) was awarded or disbursed. When the data relate to a fiscal year, this is indicated in the Notes field below.

Subsidy value: The dollar amount specified in the source document. We indicate in the Notes whether the amount is an actual or a projected amount (the latter being common in projects in which payouts are based on company performance with regard to job creation or investment). We converted amounts showing cents to full-dollar figures. We do not include amounts below $1,000. Entries with negative amounts or zero are also deleted.

Value of Loan, Loan Guarantee or Bailout Assistance: This entry shows the face value or principal of awards involving loans, bond financing, loan guarantees, federal bailouts or venture capital. It excludes repayment amounts, which are not readily available in the data sources we use. We do not regard the face value as equivalent to a subsidy and thus put this amount in a separate field.

Program name: we use the program name given on the data source. You can see a list of the programs included in the database by looking at the Inventory of Data Sources, which has separate lists of state, local and federal programs.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance code: a numbering system used by the federal government to categorize many but not all of its grant and loan programs.

Agency: the name of the state, local or federal agency involved in awarding or overseeing the program, and often the entity responsible for reporting the recipient data.

Type of subsidy: we divided the various subsidy programs into 19 broad categories -- 14 for state/local program and 5 for federal programs:

State/local subsidy types

          Note: Some entries combine more than one of these types and are categorized as such.

Federal subsidy types

Number of Jobs or Training Slots: The number of jobs to be created or retained at a subsidized facility as a result of the financial assistance. In the case of training subsidies, this is the number of training slots. The Notes indicate whether the job number is projected (i.e., what the company promises) or actual (reported after the fact).

Wage Data and Wage Data Type: Some programs include information on the quality of the jobs created or retained. This may be an hourly wage rate, an annual salary figure or an aggregate payroll figure (which can be divided by the number of jobs to get a rough salary estimate). The Wage Data field shows the dollar figure; the Wage Data Type field indicates the category.

Capital Investment: Some programs indicate the amount that the company is investing in the subsidized project. The Notes indicate whether the amount is projected or actual.

Source of Data: Where the information came from. In cases where the source is online, the web address is given.

Notes: This field clarifies issues relating to the other categories and provides additional details.


Downloading is available to subscribers only.

Data sources

Apart from the Megadeal entries, most of the content comes from official state, local or federal government online sources. These include some sites that provide downloadable spreadsheets, but most of them are either: interactive databases that display search results on webpages; static HTML pages with lists of recipient names; static PDF documents; or other formats such as Microsoft Word documents. We converted these lists into spreadsheet form.

A full list of document sources can be found here. An update log can be found here. A large number of federal grant and loan entries come from the website, which also contains other data (grants to state and local governments and to non-profit entities, federal contracts, etc.) that we do not capture.

In some cases, state or local agencies agreed to give us data considered public information but not previously posted online. We made the requests either through informal inquiries or formal freedom of information filings. In a few instances, we include data from FOIA requests made by other organizations.

Last updated March 4, 2024