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Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ)

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Program Contacts
EMAIL
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Jordan Snelling (804-371-7121)
Tory McGowan (804-371-7066)

The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) program is a partnership between state and local government that encourages 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.

For a list of zones, see the VEZ map.


Grant Year 2016 

Applications for Grant Year 2016 are due April 1st, 2017. The 2016 Instruction Manuals and Agreed-Upon-Procedures for the CPA Attestation will be made available on this website by December 1, 2016. The GY 2015 materials are linked below for reference, but should not be utilized for GY 2016 submissions. The EZ Application Submission System will open for submissions on January 1, 2017. 

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Enterprise Zone How-to-Qualify Webinar

On the dates specified below, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold an in-depth "How-to-Qualify" Webinar on how to apply for Virginia Enterprise Zone Real Property Investment Grants and Job Creation Grants. Attendance is open to the public and free of charge. The application instruction manuals for the Job Creation Grant and the Real Property Investment Grants, and the Agreed-Upon-Procedures for the CPA Attestation are available below. For questions regarding registration or the Enterprise Zone program, please contact Jordan Snelling or Tory McGowan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (804) 371-7030.

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Job Creation Grant (JCG) Webinar:
February 7, 2017
10am-12pm

Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG) Webinar:
February 7, 2017
1pm-3pm


NEW ELECTRONIC DISBURSEMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR 2016! 

Beginning with Grant Year 2016, all Enterprise Zone Grant applicants are required to register for the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) program through the Virginia Department of Accounts (DOA) in advance of submitting an Enterprise Zone application.  All grant payments will be disbursed electronically to the bank accounts registered with the EDI program, and hard-copy checks will not be utilized. A copy of the Commonwealth of Virginia W-9 must still be submitted to DHCD with the hard-copy application.

If you are not currently participating in the EDI program, you must go to www.doa.virginia.gov , choose the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) button on the right side of your screen and select, complete, and submit the appropriate Trading Partner Agreement and Enrollment form, using the EDI Guide for Vendors, Localities, Grantees, State Agencies and Non-state Agencies for information on the Commonwealth of Virginia's EDI payment program. Completed forms can be returned to the Department of Accounts via email, fax or by US mail:

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Fax: 804-414-9896
US Mail:
Department of Accounts, eCommerce Unit
PO Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971

Applicants who have more than one EDI account should have Suffix numbers for each bank account registered for Commonwealth of Virginia payments. In addition to the Taxpayer Identification Number (FEIN or SSN), applicants should provide the Suffix number (typically formatted as 00, 01, 02, etc.) for the desired bank account for the EZ grant payment. If an applicant does not provide the additional Suffix, the payment will automatically route to the main bank account registered with the FEIN on the application.

If you have any questions regarding EDI enrollment, please contact the EDI Unit at the Department of Accounts:

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Hotline: 804-692-0473


Center for Urban And Regional Analysis Report on Enterprise Zones

Per Item 105 B of Chapter 665 of the 2015 Acts of Assembly, DHCD worked with the Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis to complete a review of the Enterprise Zone Program. This study was conducted to determine how well the program works to encourage business development in zone areas above any increases that would occur in those areas, absent zone designation. The report also assess those characteristics most commonly associated with zone success. A link to the report can be found below.

A Review of the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program December 2016 


PROGRAM RESOURCES


Eligibility

State incentives are available to businesses and zone investors who create jobs and invest in real property within the boundaries of enterprise zones.

  • Qualification for the Job Creation Grant (JCG) is based on permanent full-time job creation over a four job threshold, wage rates of at least 175 percent of the Federal minimum wage (150 percent in HUAs*), and the availability of health benefits. Personal service, retail, food and beverage positions are not eligible to receive job creation grants.

*As of 2010, firms located in High Unemployment Areas (HUAs) may qualify for the JCG at the reduced wage rate threshold of $10.88 (150 percent of the Federal minimum wage). A list of HUAs is provided below in the Helpful Links section of this page.

  • Eligiblity for the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG) is based on qualified investments made to commercial, industrial, and mixed-use buildings or facilities located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone. To be eligible for the RPIG, an individual or entity must invest at least $100,000 for rehabilitation or expansion projects and at least $500,000 for new construction projects.

For more information about state incentive eligibility criteria and grant awards please reference the Virginia Enterprise Zone Grant Matrix under the “Helpful Links “section.

 

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Funding Allocation Revisions
    In an effort to prioritize job creation, Job Creation Grants will receive funding priority should grant request exceed available funds. In the event that grant requests exceed allocated funding, Real Property Investment Grants may be subject to proration.
  • Job Creation Grant Revisions
    The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) Job Creation Grant (JCG) has reduced the wage rate threshold for job grants in areas with unemployment rates that are equal to or more than one and one-half times the state average to 150 percent of the federal minimum wage or $10.88 to receive grants. High unemployment area zones authorized by this new provision are listed on the link below.

Wage Rate Threshold* Grant Per PFTE Eligible Businesses
$10.88 $500 HUA Business
$12.69 $500 All Business
$14.50 $800 All Business


PARTNERS/INTERMEDIARIES


Helpful Links