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How Small Businesses Can Fund ADA-Related Costs

How Small Businesses Can Fund ADA-Related Costs

Accessibility is more than a buzzword for small businesses. Adapting your workplace attracts a new customer base and keeps your company legally compliant with ADA standards. However, the cost of modifying your building to become compliant is sometimes higher than expected. Here are three ways small businesses can fund ADA-related costs for their office spaces or storefronts.

The Disabled Access Tax Credit

Any business with an income of less than (or equal to) $1,000,000 or that employs 30 or fewer full-time employees can take advantage of the Disabled Access Tax Credit. This federal tax incentive is available for the following accessibility improvement costs:

  • Remove barriers that prevent a business from being accessible
  • Make audio materials available to the deaf and hard of hearing via an interpreter or other tools
  • Make visual materials available to those with visual impairments via readers or other tools
  • Purchase or modify equipment to improve accessibility

Small businesses can even use this tax credit to make their websites more accessible! However, it’s important to note that this credit has two limitations: A business must spend between $250 and $10,250 to use the credit, and a company can only claim 50% of its accessibility expenses for the credit. The tax credit does not apply to the first $250 spent, and due to the 50% rule, the highest tax credit available would be $5,000.

Internal Revenue Code, Section 190

Businesses may also utilize Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, Section 190 when creating a more accessible workplace or store. Up to $15,000 a year in expenses is tax-deductible when spent on architectural changes that allow further access for those with mobility impairments. Changes like constructing ramps, widening doorways, and lowering counters benefit those using mobility-assisting devices to get around your property and engage in your services.

Where To Start

One of the most important places to start is with your business’s entryways. Even your choice of automated doorway requires consideration, as the various functionality and security options suit different accessibility needs. Ramps, handrails, and retrofitted restrooms are all significant renovations to consider as well.

After physical changes, look to technology. Offering text-to-speech readers, captioned video content, and visibility options on the company website or in-store screens further improves accessibility.

While not every small business must be ADA-compliant, emphasizing inclusiveness demonstrates strong values and that you care about your employees, clients, and customers. These examples of how small businesses can fund ADA-related costs make the choice to spend on accessibility even easier for owners. Remember to consult a disability lawyer in your state to determine the liability and needs of your business as well as your ability to claim access tax credits.

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