Monthly Archives: January 2015

Governor McAuliffe Announces $200,000 in Building Collaborative Communities Funding

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $200,000 in funding for five collaborative efforts in Virginia through the Building Collaborative Communities (BCC) program. The program promotes regional economic collaboration in economically-distressed areas to stimulate job creation, economic development and provide a significant return on state investment.

“The Building Collaborative Communities program facilitates successful regional partnerships that generate prosperity across our Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Regional collaboration is critical as we work to build a new Virginia economy, and we continue to see the impact it has in bringing businesses and jobs to communities throughout the Commonwealth.”

While announcing the grant in Rapidan, Virginia, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe said, “The Piedmont area recognizes the importance of regional food systems to healthy and economically vibrant communities, and through the Building Collaborative Communities grant, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission will further advance and support regional agri-business initiatives.”

“We know that growing the new Virginia economy requires teamwork among our communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Through the BCC program, we are supporting projects that make Virginia a great place to live, visit and do business.”

Selected projects will focus on and facilitate significant involvement from the private sector, economic development agencies, community organizations, educational institutions, nonprofits, local leaders and governmental officials. The Commonwealth is providing $200,000 to support this program in FY2015.

The following projects were awarded funding through the Building Collaborative Communities program:


Applicant and

Localities Targeted

Project Name Award Offer
Friends of Southwest Virginia
(Counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton)
My Southwest Virginia Opportunity $50,000
Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission
(Counties of Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex and the towns of Tappahannock, Urbanna and West Point)
Middle Peninsula Regional Economic Development $19,275
Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission
(Counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock)
George Washington Carver Agriculture Center $63,000
Region 2000 Local Government Council
(Counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell, the city of Lynchbur,g and the towns of Altavista, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Brookneal and Pamplin City)
Region 2000 Regional Food Distribution Planning $19,275
Virginia’s Growth Alliance
(Counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward)
Virginia’s Growth Alliance Regional Economic Development Blueprint $48,450




Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $700,000 In Community Development Block Grants For Charles City And Wise Counties

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today more than $700,000 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for the Counties of Charles City and Wise. Charles City County will receive $600,000 for the Charles City County Roxbury Broadband Project through the CDBG Community Economic Development Fund, and Wise County will receive $122,652 for the Wells Boone Sewer Project through the CDBG Construction Ready Water and Sewer Fund.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “In order to build a new Virginia economy, we must utilize resources like Community Development Block Grants to invest in projects that provide critical infrastructure like broadband, water and sewer.  These infrastructure investments are a key component of my economic development strategic plan, and I am thrilled to announce these grants for Charles City and Wise Counties.”

“We are truly excited about this announcement today, particularly because it demonstrates what we can accomplish with a partnership between federal, state and local entities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “This team approach to economic development will create the infrastructure that we need to bring jobs and businesses to our communities for years to come.”

The Charles City County project will result in broadband installation to serve the Roxbury Industrial Park and other businesses along Route 106. The project is expected to retain nearly 175 jobs from one of the county’s largest employers, and help supply broadband availability to new businesses in the eastern portion of the county. The program is in recognition of the need to be responsive to economic development opportunities in eligible localities. The funding is available for projects involving the location, expansion or retention of a basic industry, and is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from January 1 through the end of September.

The Wise County project will provide new public sewer service to the Wells Boone community, alleviating the reliance on aging septic systems that were built in poor soil conditions.  The project is expected to benefit 11 households, with seven of those households being low- to moderate-income. The sewer service is funded under the CDBG Construction Ready Water and Sewer Fund, which provides assistance to projects providing public water or sewer service to communities made up of at least 60% low- to moderate-income households. Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from January 1 through the end of September.

Since 1982, the federally-funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Virginia receives up to $17 million annually for this grant program. Most CDBG grant funds are awarded through a competitive process.


2014 CDBG Construction Ready Water and Sewer Fund:

Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Wise County Wells Boone Sewer Project $122,652


2014 CDBG Community Economic Development Fund:

Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Charles City County Charles City County Roxbury Broadband Project $600,000


Governor McAuliffe Announces Virginia Enterprise Zone Designations

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced new and renewed Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) designations.  Five new zones were designated in the Commonwealth, including two regional zones.  Five additional zones received renewals.  The new zones designations are for the City of Bristol, the City of Newport News and Page County.  The two new additional regional zones include one zone in the City of Galax and Carroll and Grayson Counties, and another zone for Accomack and Northampton Counties.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “The Enterprise Zone Program has long been one of the state’s most successful incentive programs. The strong partnership between the state and local economic development authorities has been invaluable to recruiting new business opportunities and to helping existing Virginia businesses grow.  Tools like this enable us to maintain our pro-business climate and continue building a new Virginia economy.”

Localities compete for initial Enterprise Zone designations, and 12 applications were submitted for the five available designations. Zones are designated for an initial 10-year period and may receive up to two five-year renewals for a total of 20 years. Currently, Virginia has a total of 57 Enterprise Zones throughout the state.

In addition to the new zones, five existing Virginia Enterprise Zones designated in 2005 have received renewals. The zones reached their 10-year designation milestone, and based on the Enterprise Zones’s effectiveness in creating jobs and capital investment, the zones were renewed through a noncompetitive process. The renewed zones include the Cities of Hampton, Hopewell and Petersburg, the Town of Bedford and Wythe County. These are the first five Enterprise Zone designations to go through the renewal process since the Enterprise Zone Grant Act was enacted in 2005.

“The Enterprise Zone program has been successful in communities across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “In the last five years, firms receiving enterprise zone incentives in the five renewed zones created 531 net new jobs and invested close to $104 million in real estate improvements.  The program is an example of the kind of incentive we need to attract businesses and jobs to Virginia.”

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers the VEZ program.  VEZ supports job creation and private investment by providing state and local incentives such as the Job Creation Grant (JCG) and the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG) to qualified businesses and investors in enterprise zones.  Businesses can earn up to $200,000 during a five-year period in RPIGs, and for JCGs, they can receive up to $800 per position per year over a five-year period, depending on the wages offered.  The program has supported more than $1 billion in investment and the creation of more than 40,000 jobs since 1995.


Governor McAuliffe unveils the Virginia Community Business Launch

Governor Terry McAuliffe today unveiled the first ever Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) and announced the first three communities that will each receive up to $100,000 for small business development: The cities of Staunton and Hopewell and Gloucester Courthouse in Gloucester County. The pilot program is an initiative of Governor McAuliffe’s new Virginia economy Strategic Plan, falling under the pillars of economic development, entrepreneurship and small business development.

“Small business development is critical for building a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Through this new initiative, we are placing the community at the center of small business development in order to help Virginia entrepreneurs thrive and contribute to our state economy starting in their own backyards.”

The CBL is designed to assist communities in taking a systems approach to defining and pursuing an asset-based small business development strategy.  The program starts with a community’s unique vision for its future and then uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. CBL will provide the tools to effectively prepare multiple entrepreneurs to operate successful businesses in a downtown or neighborhood commercial district and allow them to compete for funding to start up their new endeavor.

While only a limited number of entrepreneurs may win the business competitions, CBL will give rise to many budding entrepreneurs that have been prepared, through the CBL initiative, to be successful businesses.  In addition, it will help communities begin to develop a coordinated, comprehensive sustainable environment that identifies, launches and supports community-based entrepreneurs and small business at all levels of development.

“Small business is the backbone of communities around the Commonwealth. They provide jobs, they provide talent, and they end up leading our civic organizations and help our children to pursue their dreams,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Entrepreneurship is a key component of our economic strategy, and we want to foster the development of these individuals and their ideas.”

For more information about the Virginia Community Business Launch, visit