Whether you’re a small company or a large-scale corporation, there are always new opportunities to grow your business in Lynchburg. Our community is rapidly growing, which creates new needs for development. If you are planning on expanding your business soon, then you are choosing the right time in a great city! Here are 3 essential resources and tools you need to get started.
Utilize State and Local Incentives
Every business can benefit from support. An incentive, typically in the form of a tax exemption or grant, maybe helpful to a business if they meet specific qualifications. It’s common for state governments to offer incentives to businesses in an effort to grow the statewide economy. However, each state program is different to match objectives and needs. In the area of business expansion, The Commonwealth of Virginia offers growth-related incentives such as:
- Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund: The Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund (COF), formerly known as the Governor’s Opportunity Fund (GOF), is a discretionary incentive available to the Governor to secure a business location or expansion project for Virginia. Grants are awarded to localities on a local matching basis with the expectation that the grant will result in a favorable location decision for the Commonwealth.
- Virginia Jobs Investment Program: The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) is an incentive program offering customized recruiting and training assistance to companies that are creating new jobs or experiencing technological change. The program is designed to reduce human resource development cost by providing direct funding to qualifying new and expanding companies. Learn more
Additionally, the state offers incentives that encourage clean energy manufacturers or Virginia agriculture products. You can learn more about these Virginia’s Incentives here. In addition to Virginia’s incentives, Lynchburg’s Economic Development Department also administers local support to help business owners looking to expand in the City of Lynchburg. Below are a few examples of support programs we offer:
- Enterprise Zones: This investment incentive is designed to support business expansion and relocation by encouraging job creation and real property investment.
- Local Redevelopment Program: Designed to support small- and medium-scale investments in commercial property within the city’s Enterprise Zones, the Local Redevelopment Program supports a portion of qualified expenditures. Property requires at least 20% commercial use. Proper permitting is required to qualify, and submitted project costs are verified by building permit. Applications must be completed within 30 days of beginning work.
- Real Estate Rehabilitation Program: This tax credit opportunity effects Residential, Multi-Family, and Commercial and Industrial spaces. Effective in January 2018, residential rehabilitation projects will be offered up to 10 years of real estate tax exemption on the improved value of the home. Multi-Family properties, those representing five or more units, will receive eight years of tax exemption. Commercial and Industrial properties will be given up to ten years of tax exemption on the improved value of rehabilitation and renovation. This effort has the potential for job creation for commercial and industrial uses.
Additionally, we offer local incentives that support arts & cultural activities and projects and tourism-based businesses. Learn more about these programs, or any others the Economic Development office offers, by clicking here.
Work with a Supportive Community
If you have been operating in Lynchburg for awhile, you may have noticed how tight-knit and welcoming our business community is! We believe that the city thrives when businesses work together to support the economy as well as each other. This is evident in the resources the city has to offer.
A helpful resource is our Navigrid. The Navigrid is a collection of Lynchburg organizations that desire to support lynchburg business growth. Additionally, there is a downloadable chart that outlines which organization is best for your specific business objectives. For example, if you are in need of financial counseling, then the Lynchburg Business Development Center, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, SCORE- The greater Lynchburg Chapter or Small Business Development Center are your resources!
Make Sure Your Business Licenses and Permits are in Order
Keep in mind that as you conduct business in the city, you will need to annually renew your business license. Further, as your revenue grows, you will be required to pay a Business License tax. You can learn more about these tax brackets on the City of Lynchburg’s website.
Additionally, if you are planning on expanding your business through construction, there are specific requirements needed to acquire and maintain a permit. For example: If you are constructing a new commercial structure, you will be required to visit the Inspections Division in City Hall and provide the following:
- Two sets of construction drawings.
- A plot plan and the specifications for the proposed structure. This includes the architectural, structural, plumbing, mechanical, fire protection, elevator and foundation details.
Afterwards, paperwork and forms will need to be signed off by the Technical Review Committee as well as cleared by Planning and Zoning Department. there is a permit fee, which is configured based off the total cost of construction and materials. For more details regarding this process, contact the Inspections Division at (434) 344-3910.
Let Us Help Expand Your Business
We believe in Lynchburg businesses of all sizes and missions. We know the thrill as well as the worry when it comes to business expansion—that is why our office door is always open! Request a meeting with our office and we will walk you through the requirements, resources and opportunities to grow your business in Lynchburg.