Investing in Each Other

Virginia works enthusiastically with new and expanding employers that create a high standard of living for Virginians and enhance local and state economies through increased revenue growth. Incentives are Virginia’s investment in its economic future and a business decision for both the Commonwealth and the company. As a result, they must make good fiscal sense for all parties. Virginia continues to demonstrate a willingness to invest in those who invest in the Commonwealth.

Designed to target the needs of the company and the development plans of localities and the state, Virginia offers a variety of performance-based incentives. From tax credits to tax exemptions, Virginia continues to demonstrate its willingness to invest in those who invest and reinvest in the Commonwealth.

Click here for VEDP’s 2020-21 Guide to Business Incentives.

Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund

The Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund (COF), formerly known as the Governor’s Opportunity Fund (GOF), 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.

Virginia Investment Partnership Act/Major Eligible Employer Grant

The Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) Grant and the Major Eligible Employer Grant (MEE) are discretionary performance incentives designed to encourage continued capital investment by Virginia companies, resulting in added capacity, modernization, increased productivity, or the creation, development and utilization of advanced technology.

The Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant

The Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant (VEDIG) is a discretionary performance incentive, designed to assist and encourage companies to invest and create new employment opportunities by locating significant headquarters, administrative or service sector operations in Virginia.

Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund

The Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID) is a tool for communities within the Commonwealth to grow their agriculture and forestry industries through strategic grants made to businesses that add value to Virginia-grown agricultural and forestal products. AFID grants are made at the discretion of the Governor with the expectation that grants awarded to a political subdivision will result in a new or expanded processing/value-added facility for Virginia grown agricultural or forestal products, and with the expectation that the grant will be critical to the success of the project. The amount of an AFID grant and the terms under which it is given are determined by the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and subject to the approval of the Governor.

Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund

The Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) makes grants to localities in Virginia’s tobacco producing regions to assist with specific projects that result in the creation of new jobs and investment. Grants are made to the community at the discretion of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. The goal of the Fund is to attract competitive projects expected to have a regional impact due to the magnitude of new employment and investment, and the possibility of follow-on industry.

Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program

The Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program (POV Grant) provides a grant to certain Qualified Companies, as described below, to incentivize companies to locate new maritime-related employment centers or expand existing centers in specified localities in order to encourage and facilitate the growth of the Port of Virginia. This grant program is administered by the Virginia Port Authority.

Virginia Jobs Investment Program

The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) is an incentive program offering customized recruiting and training assistance to companies that are creating new jobs or experiencing technological change. The program is designed to reduce human resource development cost by providing direct funding to qualifying new and expanding companies.

Corporate Income Tax Credits

Virginia offers a variety of tax credits that are available for use against a company’s corporate tax liability:

  • Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit
  • Recycling Equipment Tax Credit
  • Worker Retraining Tax Credit
  • Virginia Port Tax Credit Programs
  • Research and Development Tax Credit
  • Green Job Creation Tax Credit

Sales and Use Tax Exemptions

Virginia offers some of the broadest sales and use tax exemptions in the U.S.

Property Tax Exemptions

Virginia does not tax intangible property, manufacturers’ inventory, and manufacturers’ furniture, fixtures and corporate aircraft.

Economic Development Access Program

Administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation, this program assists localities in providing adequate road access to new and expanding basic employers.

Rail Industrial Access Program

Provides funds to construct railroad tracks to new or substantially expanded industrial and commercial projects.

Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund

TPOF is a discretionary grant available for transportation-related issues related to unique economic development projects.

Virginia Small Business Financing Authority

VSBFA offers programs to provide businesses with access to capital needed for growth and expansion.

Enterprise Zones

Virginia’s Enterprise Zone program provides state and local incentives to businesses that invest and create jobs within Virginia’s enterprise zones, which are located throughout the state.

Technology Zones

Virginia authorizes its communities to establish technology zones to encourage growth in targeted industries. Presently, 30 cities and counties and 6 towns have created zones throughout the state.

Foreign Trade Zones

Virginia offers six foreign trade zones designed to encourage businesses to participate in international trade by effectively eliminating or reducing customs duties. Also, numerous subzones are provided and additional ones can be designated to enhance the trade capabilities of specific companies.

Defense Production Zones

Virginia authorizes its communities to establish local defense production zones to benefit businesses engaged in the design, development, or production of materials, components, or equipment required to meet the needs of national defense. Companies deemed ancillary to or in support of the aforementioned categories would also apply.