Businesses that created four or more new jobs or invested $100,000 or more in 2020 may be eligible for the state’s job creation grant or real property investment grant.

The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) program is a state and local partnership and one of the most effective methods of using incentives to stimulate economic development through job creation and private investment. Newport News boasts two of these highly-coveted zones, VEZ #3 and #31.

  • VEZ #3 Newport News South was designated in 2004, modified in 2016, and includes areas such as Oyster Point, Tech Center, Copeland Industrial Park, Downtown, Port Warwick, Hilton Village, Southeast Community, Seafood Industrial Park and City Center.
  • VEZ #31 Newport News North was designated in 2015 and includes areas such as Carlton Farms, Peninsula Industrial Park, Patrick Henry Corridor, AirCommerce Park, Patrick Henry CommerCenter, Endview, Oakland Industrial Park and the Denbigh-Warwick area.
  • While both zones offer identical state incentives, each zone’s local incentives are tailored to its specific land use and development strategy.

State Incentives

The Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development manages the VEZ program and works closely with each Local Zone Administrator to ensure qualified employers and investors take full advantage of the two state incentives.

  • Applications for state incentives are due on April 1st.
  • Local Zone Administrators must sign each application to verify the business and/or property is in a VEZ.Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG): an incentive for new construction or rehabilitation of commercial, industrial and/or mixed-use buildings.
    • The RPIG is a cash grant equal to 20% of the amount of qualified investments in excess of the minimum threshold.
    • Maximum benefit *within any five-year period is $200,000 for projects of $5+million or more, and $100,000 for projects less than $5 million.
    • To be eligible, an individual or entity must invest at least $500,000 for new construction, and $100,000 for rehabilitation projects.
    • Grants are payable to the owner and/or tenant making the qualified investment.
    • To be eligible, mixed-use buildings must have at least 30% of floor area dedicated to commercial, industrial or office use.
    • Purchase of land, existing improvements and soft costs are not qualifying investments.
    • The application deadline is April 1st of the calendar year immediately following the year the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is issued. For example, if the CO is issued during calendar year 2020, the application deadline is April 1, 2021.*Grants may be prorated if requests exceed available state funding. In recent years, the proration has averaged 75%.

      Job Creation Grant (JCG): an incentive for new and expanding businesses creating permanent full-time jobs.

    • The JCG is an annual cash grant for five years for new positions offering health benefits.
      It is equal to $800 per year for new positions earning 200% of the federal minimum wage*, and $500 per year for new positions earning 175-199% of the federal minimum wage*.
    • Firms may qualify for additional five-year periods with further job creation.
    • The first four positions created are not eligible for grants and the maximum number of positions eligible is 350 positions per year.
    • Personal service, retail and food & beverage positions are not eligible.*The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. To be eligible, net new positions must be paid $14.50/hour for the $800 grant and $12.69/hour for the $500 grant.

Newport News’ team will guide you through your eligibility for state and local incentives associated with these zones. You’ll be rewarded for job creation, new construction, renovation, expansion and more. The zones span most commercial and industrial areas of our City, providing flexibility based on the size, needs and aspirations of your company. Newport News’ goal is to ensure your investment exceeds your expectations.

Download the flyer here.

For more information, contact Mallory Butler at to see how you can benefit.