Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund
The Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund (COF), formerly known as the Governor’s Opportunity Fund (GOF), is a “deal-closing” fund to be employed at the Governor’s discretion to secure a company location or expansion in Virginia. Administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the COF serves as a final resource for Virginia in the face of serious competition from other states or countries.
The COF grant is a negotiated amount determined by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, based on the recommendation of VEDP, and subject to approval of the Governor.
Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund
The Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID) is a discretionary incentive to grow Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industries. AFID grants are made to localities at the discretion of the Governor with the expectation that the grant will be critical to the success of a project, which will result in creation of new jobs and investment from companies that add value to Virginia-grown agriculture and forestry products.
Grants may be used for a variety of purposes, including public and private utility extension or capacity development on- and off-site; high-speed or broadband internet access extension or capacity development; road, rail, or other transportation access costs beyond the funding capability of existing programs; site acquisition; grading, drainage, paving, and any other activity required to prepare a site for construction; construction or build-out of buildings; or training.
Virginia Investment Performance Grant
The Virginia Investment Performance Grant (VIP) encourages continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies, resulting in added capacity, modernization, increased productivity, or the creation, development, and utilization of advanced technology. The program targets existing manufacturers or research and development services supporting manufacturing. There must be an active and realistic competition between Virginia and another state or country for attracting the project, and matching local financial participation is expected.
The amount of each VIP grant is determined by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, based in part on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Return-on-Investment analysis and recommendation, and is subject to the approval of the Governor.
Major Eligible Employer Grant Program
The Major Eligible Employer Grant Program (MEE) is a discretionary program used to encourage major basic employers to invest in Virginia and to provide a significant number of stable employment opportunities by either making a significant expansion to existing operations or constructing new ones. There must be an active and realistic competition between Virginia and another state or country for attracting the project.
The amount of each grant is determined by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, based in part on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Return-on-Investment analysis and recommendation, and is subject to the approval of the Governor.
The Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant (VEDIG)
The Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant program (VEDIG) assists and encourages companies to invest and create new employment opportunities by locating significant headquarters, administrative, or service sector operations in Virginia. There must be an active and realistic competition between Virginia and another state or country for attracting the project.
The amount of each VEDIG grant is determined by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, based in part on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Return-on-Investment analysis and recommendation, and is subject to the approval of the Governor.
The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP)
The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) is a discretionary program that provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to reduce the human resource development costs for new companies, expanding companies, and companies retraining their employees.
Funding for each net new full-time job created or full-time employee retrained is based on a customized budget determined by an assessment of the company’s recruiting and training activities, as well as the project’s expected benefit to the Commonwealth, and is subject to approval by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
Corporate Income Tax Credits
Virginia offers a variety of tax credits that are available for use against a company’s corporate tax liability.
Sales & Use Tax Exemptions
Virginia offers some of the broadest sales and use tax exemptions in the U.S.
Economic Development Access Program
The Economic Development Access (EDA) program is a state-funded incentive to assist localities in providing adequate road access to new and expanding manufacturing and processing companies, research and development facilities, distribution centers, regional service centers, corporate headquarters, government installations, and other basic employers with at least 51% of the company’s revenue generated from outside the Commonwealth. EDA is administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Rail Industrial Access Funds
The Rail Industrial Access (RIA) program provides funds to construct railroad tracks for new or substantially expanded industrial and commercial projects having a positive impact on economic development in Virginia.
The Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) administers the RIA, which is subject to the approval of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). This program is open to businesses, municipalities, economic development entities, and railroads. The limited funding shall be used for track facilities and engineering, but not for utility relocation or right‐of‐way acquisition. Recipients will be required to confirm that initial expectations regarding anticipated carload figures were met.
Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund (TPOF)
Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund (TPOF) assistance is awarded at the discretion of the Governor in the form of grants, revolving loans, or other financial assistance to an agency or local government of the Commonwealth for activities associated with eligible transportation projects.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) administers TPOF. Projects developed with monies from TPOF do not become private property, but become or remain public property following completion. The transportation improvements have to be accomplished according to VDOT standards and specifications and have to be maintained by the appropriate public entity pursuant to relevant agreements.
Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA)
The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s business and economic development financing arm.
VSBFA provides businesses and localities with debt financing resources for economic development projects and other small business and entrepreneurial financing needs. VSBFA’s definition of “small business” is $10 million or less in annual revenues over each of the last three years, or a net worth of $2 million or less, or fewer than 250 employees in Virginia, or qualification as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.
The Virginia Economic Development Loan Fund, the Virginia Loan Guaranty Program, Tax-exempt Industrial Development Bonds, and the Virginia Capital Access Program, etc. are a few of the in-state options available.
Property Tax Incentives
Virginia and the local government of Roanoke County do not tax intangible personal property, manufacturers’ inventory, manufacturers’ furniture, fixtures or corporate aircraft. There is also no unitary tax on worldwide profits, and no state tax on real estate or tangible property.
Guide to Business Incentives
Read the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s 2020 Virginia Guide to Business Incentives (PDF).