What is an Enterprise Zone?
The Virginia Enterprise Zone program is a partnership between state and local government that encourages job creation and private investment. Enterprise Zones throughout the state provide 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.
The City of Lynchburg manages two Enterprise Zones, providing investment incentives covering 4,200 acres of commercial property. In our Enterprise Zones, both state and local incentives combine to support existing business expansion and new business relocation. In the past few years, the Office of Economic Development has made several thousand additional acres of commercial property eligible for investment grants, and it is paying dividends.
In 2019, almost $1,000,000 in RPIG grants supported local real estate, and over $180,000 in JCG supported new job creation in the City of Lynchburg. These two grants support larger economic returns for the City; in 2019, finalized commercial building permits totaled more than $17.5 million in real property investment in the City’s two Enterprise Zones. The City of Lynchburg Real Estate Rehabilitation Program, which encourages renovation of older structures and helps to revitalize commercial neighborhoods, saw 60 properties in the Enterprise Zones participating in the program, resulting in just over $68 million in improvements to the City’s tax base.
Enterprise Zone 2 includes downtown Lynchburg, and downtown revitalization continues, with 22 new businesses and more than 28 jobs created in calendar year 2019. In the past decade, more than 900 residential lofts have been developed, spurring investments in retail, restaurant and service businesses. Two great examples of the results of these investments are the opening of both Starr Hill Brewery and Three Roads Brewery in 2020.
In September of 2019, Tessy Plastics completed their $9.2million expansion, resulting in the addition of 34 new jobs. In that same month, CloudFit Software announced its headquarters would be located in the historic Carter Glass Building in Downtown Lynchburg, which will see it’s official opening in the coming month.