Enterprise Zones

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********************************************************************************************************************************NEW - March 24, 2020

Temporary Waiver for Enterprise Zone state grants paper submission requirements

On March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In the Declaration of State of Emergency Due to Novel Coronavirus, Executive Order 51, the governor directed state agencies to render appropriate assistance to prepare for and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In doing so, he ordered authorization for the heads of executive branch agencies, on behalf of their regulatory boards as appropriate, and with the concurrence of their cabinet secretary, to waive any state requirement or regulation.

The Enterprise Zone Grant Program Regulations (13VAC5-112) currently require submission of grant applications in hard copy format by April 1 of each year. Under current state and federal guidelines and requirements, many employees and workplaces have transitioned to a virtual workspace, making hard copy submission of applications challenging. Further, many businesses that would typically seek application for Enterprise Zone grants have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 developments.

Pursuant to the authority granted to the agency head by Executive Order 51 (2020), I hereby waive the requirement that Enterprise Zone Grant Program applications be submitted in hard copy format. This waiver shall take effect on March 23, 2020, and shall remain in full force and in effect until June 10, 2020, unless sooner amended or rescinded by further executive order. 

Electronic applications will continue to be submitted through the Enterprise Zone application portal, and all other documentation will be submitted via email to Ezone@dhcd.virginia.gov. This documentation must include:

  • All parts of the EZ RPIG or JCG with appropriate signatures
  • Applicable supplemental documents with signatures
  • Placed in Service Documentation
  • Attestation

Electronic applications and all electronically submitted supplemental documentation noted above must still be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2020. DHCD is maintaining the current deadline for electronic submissions to ensure funding reaches businesses as soon as possible.

Erik C. Johnston

Director, Department of Housing and Community Development

Thank you

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NEW - March 16, 2020

Notice to Grant Year 2019 Applicants:

As of this morning the deadline for Real Property Investment Grants and Job Creation Grants is still April 1, 2020 although DHCD offices in Richmond are currently closed due to the COVID-19 virus.  The County continues to monitor for updates.  

If you anticipate applying for funds, please go ahead and email the Grant Qualification Form to Tom Brockenbrough  (tbrockenbrough@co.accomack.va.us) so it can be verified and returned to you as soon as possible.  Your entire application does not have to be complete for Accomack County to verify and sign off on your application.

Thank you

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Grant Year 2019 Applications

The Grant Year 2019 RPIG and JCG manuals are now available on the DHCD website, and the application portal for GY 2019 will open on January 2, 2020.   The links are below:

 Enterprise Zone webpage: https://dhcd.virginia.gov/vez 

Application Portal: https://dmz1.dhcd.virginia.gov/EZonePortal/Default.aspx 

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The Virginia Enterprise Zone program is committed to encouraging economic growth and revitalization throughout the commonwealth by supporting businesses and investors. The program provides reimbursement grants for real property improvements as well as new job creation within the zone. This program is managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Accomack County originally created it's Enterprise Zone in 2005 and has made some amendments to the area in the Zone since that time.


Qualification for real property investment grants requires the participant spend a minimum of $100,000 in qualifying investments for commercial, industrial, or mixed-use buildings or facilities or rehabilitation and expansion or a minimum of $500,000 in qualifying investments for new construction. Participants may qualify for reimbursements for up to 20% of the qualified costs in excess of the minimums. For example, if you spent $150,000 in qualifying expenses in renovating a business property in the Enterprise Zone, you could be eligible for a grant up to $10,000. The amount of the reimbursements will depend on state funds available for reimbursement as well as total caps on funds depending on the type and amount of investment.

For job creation grants, funds are available for net new permanent full time positions that pay a minimum of $12.69 per hour as well as provide health benefits. Certain categories of positions, such as retail, personal service, or food and beverage positions, are excluded. A minimum of 5 new permanent full-time positions must be created in order to qualify for funding.

For complete information on these programs, please follow the link to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Enterprise Zone Site.

In addition to State Enterprise Zones, Accomack County offers several incentives for qualified activities including:

  • Rebate of County Permitting Fees
  • Accomack County Industrial Park Site Acquisition Cost Discount
  • Discounted Sewer Hookup Fees and Rates in Accomack County Industrial Parks
  • Rebate of Landfill Fees for Removal of Derelict Buildings
  • County Business License Fee Rebate
  • Financial Incentive for New Jobs Created in Accomack County Industrial Park
  • Real Property Improvement Grant
  • Personal Property/Tools & Machinery Grant
  • Expedited Plans Review
  • And More!

Most of the local incentives have requirements on minimum increases in value, etc., so please check with Tom Brockenbrough at (757) 787-5797 or (757) 824-5324 or email to tbrockenbrough@co.accomack.va.us to see if you qualify.

If you wish to verify whether or not a property you own or are considering owning is in the Enterprise Zone, the information is available on AccoMap - Accomack County's Online Mapping Service

Accomack's Enterprise Zone is part of a Joint Enterprise Zone with Northampton County.  For further information on Northampton's Enterprise Zone, please see their information online at http://www.co.northampton.va.us/enterprise.html or call Janice Williams (757) 678-0440 ext 516.