On Tuesday, October 19th, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Lynchburg was awarded redesignation for its Enterprise Zone. The Governor made the announcement with Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones and Mayor Michael Gillette at Ivy Creek Park in Lynchpin Industrial Park in Lynchburg.
"The Enterprise Zone program is an important tool that will help in our efforts to build a new Virginia economy," said Gov. McAuliffe. "By providing both local and state incentives, we are creating a pro-business climate that not only attracts new businesses, but also helps our existing businesses grow."
Businesses in Enterprise Zones gain unique access to both state and local incentives. However, achieving an Enterprise Zone designation is a competitive process. Each designation lasts 10 to 20 years - depending on performance - and the state is cutting back the number of zones across the Commonwealth. This year, 14 zones in Virginia expired from the program. Lynchburg was one of five communities in Virginia to achieve redesignation.
"As Governor McAuliffe indicated in the announcement, it is a testament to the Lynchburg business community to achieve redesignation of the Enterprise Zone," said Marjette Upshur, director of economic development. "The state has very few tools as effective on an ongoing basis to attract new businesses and help create jobs in local communities as the establishment of an Enterprise Zone. This designation gives the City an invaluable tool to encourage industrial and retail real estate investment and rehabilitation."
What have Enterprise Zones done for Lynchburg so far?
- Businesses have been able to access and use $7.5 million in incentives since 1995
- Around $1.5 million has been used in real property investment, further strengthening the region
- Overall, since the program started in 1995, Enterprise Zones have generated over $1 billion in investments and the creation of over 40,000 jobs in Virginia
What does this mean for your business?
Businesses in Enterprise Zones can earn up to $200,000 in incentives during a five-year period in Real Property Investment Grants. For Job Creation Grants, on the other hand, businesses can receive up to $800 per position per year for five years. The Office of Economic Development holds an annual "How to Apply" workshop in February each year. Learn more about the program on the opportunitylynchburg.com site or contact the office for more information.