RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the five-year renewal of 15 Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) designations. Businesses that locate in enterprise zones are eligible to receive state and local benefits. The program is a partnership between state and local government that encourages economic development through job creation and private investment.
The 15 zones receiving renewals were initially designated in 2000, 2005 and 2010. Legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2019 allows zones designated after 2005 to apply for a third five-year period, and zones designated prior to 2005 can request one five-year renewal. Since 2015, the VEZ program has generated more than $1.5 billion in investment and the creation of 50,000 jobs in the designated zones.
“The Virginia Enterprise Zone program is one of our most valuable tools for supporting local economic growth,” said Governor Northam. “Providing state and local incentives for new investments and higher-wage jobs makes these communities more competitive when a business is deciding where to locate or whether to expand in our Commonwealth.”
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the VEZ program, which supports job creation and private investment by providing state and local incentives, such as the Job Creation Grant (JCG) and the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG), to qualified businesses and investors in enterprise zones. Businesses can earn up to $200,000 during a five-year period in RPIGs and, for JCGs, up to $800 per position, per year, over a five-year period, depending on the wages offered.
“This program attracts many investments to Virginia’s localities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “In the last five years, firms receiving VEZ incentives in the 15 renewed zones created 354 net new jobs and invested over $63 million in real estate improvements, and there is more investment to come with the renewal of the zones.”
Recommendations for the 15 zone renewals are based on the continued need for such a zone, the effectiveness of each enterprise zone in creating jobs and providing capital investment incentives, and the locality’s performance of enterprise zone responsibilities. Additional information about the VEZ program is available here.
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