Virginia offers one of the best pro-business climates in the nation. It is no surprise that for several years, Virginia has been named among the top states to do business in the nation by Forbes.com and CNBC.com.

Virginia and the Richmond Region have established many business incentives that benefit new and existing businesses, both in the short and long term. Incentives include financial assistance, infrastructure development grants, tax credits and exemptions, customized training and technical support programs.

Regional Support

The Partnership’s support services include research, information, publications and other services. In addition to real estate information, the Partnership maintains information on critical business factors, including labor, education and training, transportation, utilities, taxes, incentives, area industries and business climate. Presentations tailored to a company’s specific needs and comparisons with other metropolitan areas and states can be provided. These services are provided at no cost to prospective businesses.

Incentives

Virginia offers one of the best pro-business climates in the nation. It is no surprise that for several years, Virginia has led the nation in the Forbes.com and CNBC.com Best State for Business rankings.

Virginia and the Richmond Region have institutionalized many business incentives that benefit new and existing businesses, both in the short and long term. Incentives include financial assistance, infrastructure development grants, tax credits and exemptions, customized training and technical support programs.

State Incentives

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership provides a variety of incentive and grant programs for competitive projects evaluating a location in the Commonwealth. Opportunities include discretionary incentives, financial assistance, infrastructure assistance, recruitment and training incentives, and tax incentives.

Download a summary of select incentive programs here.

  • Customized recruiting and training incentives are provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, including New Jobs Program, Small Business New Jobs Program, and Workforce Retraining Program.
  • The Workforce Investment Act provides federal funding for employment and training activities to enhance productivity and competitiveness. In Virginia, WIA is administered at the state level by the Virginia Community College System.
  • Enterprise Zone program provides cash grants for new job creation and real property investment.
  • Corporate tax credits are provided through:
    • Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit
    • Refundable Research and Development Expenses Tax Credit
    • Major Research and Development Expenses Tax Credit
    • Recyclable Materials Processing Equipment Tax Credit
    • Work Retraining Tax Credit
    • Green Job Tax Credit
    • Port Volume Tax Credit
    • International Trade Facility Tax Credit
    • Barge and Rail Usage Tax Credit
  • Other discretionary incentives include Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, Virginia Investment Partnership Grant, Major Eligible Employer Grant, Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant, Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, and Port of Virginia and Infrastructure Development Grant.
  • Financing programs include industrial development bonds for manufacturing projects, incentive grants for targeted industries, and small business programs.
  • Virginia also provides broad sales and use tax exemptions and a variety of real and personal property tax exemptions for businesses.

Local incentives

Once a project has narrowed its real estate search, local economic development partners may offer an incentive package. The following pages link directly to local economic development websites and offer insight on the types of incentives and/or grants available in that municipality:

Incentive examples include:

  • Infrastructure improvement incentives including road access, utility extensions and connection costs, and off-site improvements will be negotiated by individual localities.
  • Enterprise Zones in Henrico and the City of Richmond offer local tax and financing incentives in addition to the state’s Enterprise Zone incentives.
  • Foreign Trade Zone #207 at Richmond International Airport provides space for storage, distribution, and light assembly operations. Imported goods held in the zone are not subject to U.S. Customs duties until they leave the zone and enter the U.S. for domestic consumption. Duties are not paid on broken or wasted product or on exported items.
  • Financing for small businesses is available through the Crater Development Company, Virginia Small Business Financing Authority, and other firms.
  • Dominion Energy offers a variety of rate options that may lower operating costs for commercial and industrial users.
  • The Business Expansion Incentive Fund (BEIF) is available through the Chesterfield County Economic Development Department and was established to secure job-creating economic development opportunities through the preservation and expansion of existing business in Chesterfield County. BEIF assistance may be in the form of a low-interest loan or a grant.
  • The Defense Production Zone legislation allows a locality to establish a defense production zone. A qualified Defense Production Business is engaged in the design, development, or production of materials, components, or equipment required to meet the needs of national defense. Each locality that establishes a Defense Production Zone may grant incentives and/or provide certain regulatory flexibility in the established zone. Incentives may be provided for up to 20 years and may include reduction of permit fees, user fees, and any type of gross receipts tax.

Workforce Recruitment Services

The Greater Richmond Partnership has developed a variety of services to assist new corporate citizens relocating to the region and to facilitate the ramp-up process. Relocation services are available through the Greater Richmond Partnership in cooperation with local businesses. The Partnership can provide a wide variety of community information including print publications and maps. The Partnership also can coordinate employment assistance through local staffing agencies and the Virginia Employment Commission.

Recruitment of mission-critical technical and professional employees

The Partnership can assist in the recruitment of professional and engineering employees using email, web sites, participation at trade shows and conferences, and other avenues as identified. One tool that the Partnership has developed includes a website, LoveWhatYouFind.com, which was designed to attract and inform businesses, workers and families considering a move to the Richmond Region for employment.