DHCD Announces Six Enterprise Zones Renewals

Partnership between state and local government aims to stimulate economic growth and revitalization

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development today announced the five-year renewal of six Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) designations in the counties of Alleghany, Henry, Lunenburg, and Pittsylvania, and the cities of Covington, Danville, and Martinsville, and the towns of Clifton Forge, Kenbridge, and Victoria. 

Enterprise Zone designations are based on locality need, which is determined by unemployment rate, area median income, and the percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch, as well as the projected impact of the incentives. The program is a partnership between state and local government that encourages economic development through job creation and private investment.

“VEZ helps localities get a leg up when it comes to attracting economic development projects, and I am pleased to see renewals for these six communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As we work on economy recovery from the effects of the pandemic, tools like VEZ that we can use to encourage capital investment and job creation is vitally important.” 

The six zones receiving renewals were initially designated in 2000 and would have reached the end of their 20-year designation periods on Dec. 31, 2020. Legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2019 allows zones designated prior to 2005 to request one five-year renewal, effectively increasing the zone designation period from 20 to 25 years. 

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the VEZ program, which 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. In 2019 alone, firms receiving program incentives created or retained 3,829 jobs and invested over $281 million in real estate improvements.

Recommendations for the six zone renewals were based on the continued need for such zone, the effectiveness of each enterprise zone in creating jobs and providing capital investment incentives, and the locality’s performance of Enterprise Zone responsibilities. Additional information about the VEZ program is available here. 

Renewed Virginia Enterprise Zones:

Zone 53 
Alleghany County, Town of Clifton Forge, City of Covington

Zone 54A
Henry County

Zone 54B 
City of Martinsville

Zone 55
Lunenburg County, Town of Kenbridge, Town of Victoria

Zone 57A 
Pittsylvania County

Zone 57B
City of Danville