Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ)

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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.

GRANT YEAR 2022

Applications for Grant Year 2022 will be due April 3, 2023. Zone investors that created grant-eligible jobs in calendar year 2022 (January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022) and zone investors that received final placed-in-service documentation for qualified real property investments in calendar year 2022 (January 1, 2022- December 31, 2022) are eligible for Grant Year 2022. Instruction manuals and Agreed Upon Procedures for the CPA Attestation are available in the Program Resources Section on this page.

VEZ Application Submission System

Enterprise Zone LZA Training | GY2021 Statewide Annual Report

ELIGIBILITY

VEZ 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 and is calculated as follows:

    $800 per year for up to five consecutive years for each grant-eligible position that is paid a wage rate during the qualification year that is at least of 175%  ($16.63) of the minimum wage in place during the qualification year, and that is provided with health benefits, or

    $500 per year for up to five years for each grant-eligible position that is paid a wage rate during such year that is less than 175% ($16.63) of the minimum wage, but at least 150% ($14.25) of the minimum wage or the reduced wage rate threshold if in a high unemployment area or if the business is certified pursuant to 13VAC5-112-285 subsection C, and that is provided with health benefits (see next line).

    Qualified business firms that are certified under regulations adopted by the Director of the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity pursuant to subdivision 8 of § 2.2-1606 of the Code of Virginia are eligible to use the reduced wage rate threshold (125% of minimum wage) in qualifying for the $500 grant amount.

  • A list of HUAs is provided below in the Helpful Links section of this page.

    % OF MIN. WAGE WAGE RATE THRESHOLD GRANT PER PFTE ELIGIBLE BUSINESSES
    125% $11.88 $500 HUA & SWAM-CERTIFIED BUSINESSES
    150% $14.25 $500 ALL BUSINESSES
    175% $16.63 $800 ALL BUSINESSES
* To confirm if a business is SWaM-certified, visit the Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity Directory here 


 

 

  • 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. Solar-only improvements of at least $50,000 and up to $100,000 qualify with $0 threshold. Solar as part of a larger project lowers the overall threshold by $50,000.

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

Real Property Investment Grant and Job Creation Grant applications should be submitted to DHCD (electronic submission only; hard copies NOT accepted) by April 3, 2023, along with a copy of the Commonwealth of Virginia W-9 Form.

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.

PARTNERS/INTERMEDIARIES

In addition to state incentives, each locality offers its own package of incentives tailored to their unique needs. To find out whether a business or real property is located within an enterprise zone, or to learn more about a specific zone’s local incentive package, see the contact list of Local Zone Administrators.