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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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notice: electronic disbursement

DHCD will not require applicants to register for the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) program through the Department of Accounts for Grant Year 2016. References to this program and the associated requirements can be disregarded for this funding cycle. Real Property Investment Grant and Job Creation Grant applications should be submitted to DHCD (electronically and hard-copy) by April 3, 2017 along with a copy of the Commonwealth of Virginia W-9 Form.


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

DHCD will not require applicants to register for the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) program through the Department of Accounts for Grant Year 2016. References to this program and the associated requirements can be disregarded for this funding cycle. Real Property Investment Grant and Job Creation Grant applications should be submitted to DHCD (electronically and hard-copy) by April 3, 2017along with a copy of the Commonwealth of Virginia W-9 Form.