Richmond offers incentives to encourage commercial investments in targeted areas of the City
REAL PROGRAMS. REAL SUPPORT. REAL INCENTIVES.
Our incentives are tailored for businesses of all sizes that choose to locate and grow in Richmond, Virginia. From major corporations to neighborhood shops, our programs are here to support your success.
MAYOR'S OPPORTUNITY FUND
The Mayor's Opportunity Fund is a discretionary, performance-based incentive program to secure a business attraction or expansion project in the City of Richmond. Incentives are tailored to the specific project and depend on the project's positive economic impact from new capital investment and jobs created in Richmond. This program is used to match Virginia's Commonwealth Opportunity Fund.
Location-Based Incentive Programs
COMMERCIAL AREA REVITALIZATION EFFORT (CARE) PROGRAM
The CARE program provides rebates equal to 50% of eligible expenses for investments in the exterior or interior rehabilitation of existing commercial structures located in the CARE areas. The maximum benefit is $25,000 per building, or $50,000 per applicant on multiple buildings.
LOCAL ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM
Richmond Economic Development offers a suite of local incentives for qualified commercial and industrial users in Richmond's Enterprise Zones:
- Business Relocation Rebate – A one-time incentive of up to $10,000 reimbursing 50% of the cost of relocating a company into one of the City’s Enterprise Zones
- New Machinery & Equipment Rebate – A 50% rebate on eligible purchases of specialized machinery or equipment up to a maximum benefit of $5,000
- Employment Assistance Grant – A job creation grant equivalent to $400 per new eligible permanent full-time position for new and expanding businesses located within one of the City’s Enterprise Zones. The maximum award is $7,200 over a two-year period.
- Brownfields Assessment Rebate – A one-time reimbursement of up to $3,500 for the cost of a Phase I Site Assessment and up to $7,500 for a Phase II Site Assessment related to commercial projects located in one of the City’s Enterprise Zone
- Loan Fee Rebate – A one-time incentive covering incurred loan financing fees up to a maximum of $1,000 associated with the financing of a business located in an Enterprise Zones
- Development Fee Rebate – A dollar-for-dollar rebate of up to $3,000 reimbursing eligible permit fees incurred in the process of investing in the construction or rehabilitation of a commercial or industrial building located in one of the City’s Enterprise Zones
- Commercial Real Estate Tax Abatement Program – A ten-year partial abatement of real estate taxes for qualifying rehabilitated commercial structures. This program is also available for commercial properties outside the Enterprise Zone, with a shorter seven-year benefit.
STATE ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM
The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) program is a partnership between the state and the City that encourages job creation and private investment. In addition to local incentives, the Commonwealth provides two grant-based incentives, the Job Creation Grant (JCG) and the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG), to qualified investors and job creators within the Enterprise Zone.
FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Richmond provides a matching grant to encourage façade improvements in targeted areas of the City – the Arts and Culture District and Hull Street. Projects that uncover and restore historical façades, remove existing façade materials, and replace them with more appropriate and attractive designs and materials, architectural lighting, and other detailing that leads to a substantially enhanced building appearance may be eligible for a reimbursement grant. Learn more on the City of Richmond’s Façade Improvement Program webpage.
Tax Policies & Exemptions
TWO-YEAR BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE (BPOL) TAX EXEMPTION FOR NEW BUSINESSES
The BPOL tax exemption allows eligible new businesses that make $250,000 or more a year in gross receipts to pay a $30 flat fee instead of a calculated BPOL tax for up to two years. Businesses must apply to this program to receive the benefit.
FLAT BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE (BPOL) FEE
Businesses that make less than $250,000 a year in gross receipts pay a $30 flat fee instead of a calculated BPOL tax. Visit the City of Richmond Department of Finance's webpage to learn more.
TECHNOLOGY ZONE INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Starting January 1, 2023, new or expanding Richmond-based technology businesses may be eligible for waived or reduced BPOL tax for up to five years through the citywide Technology Zone Incentive Program.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE TAX ABATEMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM
The City provides a partial real estate tax abatement for eligible structural improvements to existing commercial and industrial buildings that are at least 20 years old.
To learn more about program, please click to access the brochure and application.
CITYWIDE REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM
The Citywide Revolving Loan Program provides access to capital to eligible small businesses, entrepreneurs, developers, and nonprofits. The maximum loan amount is up to $250,000, with interest rates up to 9%.
To learn more about the Citywide Loan Program, please click to access the brochure and application.
CONTRACTORS ASSISTANCE LOAN PROGRAM (CAP)
CAP provides access to capital to small contractors doing business within the City of Richmond that lack access to traditional financing. The goal is to provide contractors with flexible terms and conditions, which may or may not be available in the conventional marketplace. The maximum loan amount is up to $100,000, with interest rates up to 9%.
To learn more about CAP, please click to access the brochure and application.
MICRO-ENTERPRISE REVOLVING LOAN FUND PROGRAM
The Micro-Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund Program is designed to provide financial assistance, training, and counseling services to eligible micro-enterprises. A micro-enterprise is a business with five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise.
Funds under this program are provided to eligible micro-enterprise businesses in the form of loans with a maximum loan amount of $50,000. The average loan amount will be between $10,000 – $25,000.
To learn more about the Micro-Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund Program, please contact Rick Winston for additional information on this program at 804.646.5036 or Rick.Winston@rva.gov.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM (EDRLP)
EDRLP provides financing to local developers and small businesses pursuing Section 108-eligible projects, which improve economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals through job creation.
The maximum loan amount is $500,000; however, exemptions will be considered case-by-case. Interest rates vary based on credit risk and market conditions.
To learn more about EDRLP, please click to access the brochure and the application.
Virginia Incentive Programs
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA INCENTIVES
Virginia offers various performance-based incentives designed to target the needs of relocating and growing companies. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) provides a full list of incentives on its website. Incentive programs highlights include:
- Commonwealth Opportunity Fund – Often used with the Mayor’s Opportunity Fund, this program provides “deal-closing” grants to secure a company location or expansion in Virginia.
- Agriculture & Forestry Industries (includes urban agriculture) – Provides grants for businesses that add value to Virginia-grown agriculture and forestry products, including craft beverage companies
- Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) – Provides services and funding to companies creating new jobs or implementing technology to reduce human resource development costs
- Virginia Talent Accelerator Program – Provides world-class training recruitment solutions customized to a company’s unique needs
- Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit – Offers a $1,000 income tax credit for each new full-time job created over a jobs threshold for companies locating or expanding in Virginia
- New Company Incentive Program – Offers an exemption from corporate income tax, and up to $2,000 per new job, for companies with no employment or property in the state prior to January 1, 2018, and that meet statutory investment and employment requirements
Richmond Economic Development staff would happily connect you to their partners at VEDP.
Interested in learning more about incentives and financial tools in Richmond, Virginia? Reach out to Richmond Economic Development.