Other Incentive and Financing Programs
In addition to financing programs operated by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, there are a number of other incentive and financing programs available in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) is the state’s economic development agency and is responsible for administering many of Virginia’s state economic development incentive programs, such as the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund (COF). The COF is a discretionary incentive available to the Governor to secure a business location or expansion project for Virginia. Grants are awarded to localities on a local matching basis with the expectation that the grant will result in a favorable location decision for the Commonwealth. VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) provides services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change. For a comprehensive listing of incentive programs available in Virginia and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region, download VEDP’s Virginia Guide to Business Incentives.
The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC) is a 28-member body created by the 1999 Virginia General Assembly. Its mission is the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. All of the localities in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region are within the service area of the TRRC. Further information on the TRRC’s loan and grant programs is available on their website.
The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia) was created by the passage of legislation during the 2016 General Assembly session. Launched by Virginia’s senior business leadership, GO Virginia supports programs to create more high-paying jobs through incentivized collaboration between business, education, and government to diversify and strengthen the economy in every region of the Commonwealth. The localities within Southwest Virginia’s e-Region are located within GO Virginia Region One. Region One includes the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe; and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton. For further information, please visit the Region One website.
The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s business and economic development financing arm. Aligned within Virginia’s Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the VSBFA offers programs to provide businesses, not-for-profits, and economic development authorities with the financing needed for economic growth and expansion throughout the Commonwealth. To accomplish this goal, VSBFA offers loans directly to businesses and non-profits, credit enhancements to banks lending to businesses and non-profits, as well as bond financings to benefit for-profit businesses, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entities, and to support clean energy and P3 transportation projects. VSBFA also helps small businesses seeking to attract equity investments by providing an equity incentive grant program.
The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) program is a partnership between state and local government encouraging job creation and private investment. VEZ accomplishes this by designating Enterprise Zones throughout the state and providing two grant-based incentives, the Job Creation Grant (JCG) and the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG), to qualified investors and job creators within those zones, while the locality provides local incentives. Enterprise Zones in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region are located in Dickenson, Scott, Tazewell and Wise counties. Local enterprise zone incentives for qualifying companies vary by locality.
Virginia authorizes its communities to establish technology zones to encourage growth in targeted industries. Two of the state’s 21 technology zones are located in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region in the Lonesome Pine Regional Business & Technology Park in Wise and the Russell Regional Business Technology Park in Lebanon.
Opportunity Zones are a federal economic development and community development tax benefit areas established as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act available to investors with capital gains designed to encourage long-term private investment in low-income urban, suburban and rural census tracts. Every county and city in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region has an Opportunity Zone. For an interactive map of where these are located, click here.
The federal HUBZone program fuels small business growth in historically underutilized business zones with a goal of awarding at least three percent of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies each year. Most areas of Southwest Virginia’s e-Region are located within a HUBZone. For further information on the federal HUBZone program, click here.
Virginia offers a data center retail sales and use tax exemption (DCRSUT Exemption) on qualifying computer equipment or enabling software purchased or leased for use in certain data centers in the Commonwealth meeting minimum investment and job creation requirements. For further information, click here.
Eligible Companies looking to establish a new presence in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region may qualify for a modified state corporate income tax and potential access to a grant or loan from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund (COF). For more information, check out this video or click here.
Planning District Commissions
The Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, which serves Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell Counties; and the Lenowisco Planning District Commission, which serves Lee, Wise, and Scott Counties and the City of Norton, can assist with information and grant writing concerning a variety of programs including those through the Appalachian Regional Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration programs. In addition, Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission operates a Revolving Loan Fund and the CProp funding program.
Industrial/Economic Development Authorities
Each county and city in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region has a local industrial or economic development authority, which can assist in a variety of ways and with any local incentives that may be available. These local IDAs and EDAs are a component part of the county/city governing body, and are the economic development arms of their respective localities. VCEDA works very closely with these local IDAs and EDAs in the development of incentive and financing proposals. In addition to these, the Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority and the Cumberland Industrial Facilities Authority are regional industrial facilities authorities created to promote regional cooperation and revenue-sharing on regionally-significant projects and properties.
Southwest Virginia's e-Region is marketed by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority - VCEDA - a regional economic development organization created by Virginia's General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the economic base of the seven-county, one-city, coal-producing region in southwestern Virginia. Since its creation, VCEDA has helped create more than 20,000 jobs.