Statewide Incentives

Foreign Trade Zone

A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a federally designated area that enables businesses to defer, reduce or eliminate the payment of U.S. Customs duties on goods held within that zone. Administered by the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).

Small Business Programs

The Virginia Department of Business Assistance (VDBA) and the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VBSFA) provide a variety of programs and services that support small business. These include:
  • Child Care Financing Program
  • Economic Development Loans
  • Environmental Compliance Assistance
  • Small Business Credit Initiative
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) provides performance-based incentives, such as the Governor's Opportunity Fund, to new and expanding businesses.

The VEDP oversees the Virginia Job Investment Program (VJIP) which offers customized recruiting and training assistance to companies that are creating new jobs or experiencing technological change.

Port of Virginia's Economic & Infrastructure Development Grant Fund

The Port of Virginia's Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Fund's (PDF) qualification is based on criteria such as job growth via expansion or new construction and must utilize the Port of Virginia.

Opportunity Zone

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in selected census tracts.  Suffolk's Opportunity Zone is located in Census Tract 51800065400 (includes the former Golden Peanut industrial site and Suffolk Industrial Park), see map.  

Opportunity Zone Fact Sheet

Excerpt from
Investors have 180 days to roll a capital gain into a qualified opportunity fund in order to realize several important tax benefits:

  • A temporary tax deferral for capital gains reinvested in an opportunity fund. The deferred gain must be recognized on the earlier of the date on which the opportunity zone investment is sold or Dec. 31, 2026.
  • A step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an opportunity fund. The basis of the original investment is increased by 10 percent if the investment in the qualified opportunity zone fund is held by the taxpayer for at least five years. It is increased by an additional 5 percent if held for at least seven years, thus excluding up to 15 percent of the original gain from taxation.
  • A permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in a qualified opportunity zone fund, if the investment is held for at least 10 years. This exclusion applies to the gains accrued from an investment in an opportunity fund, and not the original gains invested into an opportunity fund.

To see exactly how much more an investor can save, compare a $100,000 capital gain rolled into a traditional stock portfolio versus an opportunity fund both earning a 7 percent annual return. After ten years, net of taxes, the total return on the stock portfolio would be 32 percent. Meanwhile, the net, after-tax return on the opportunity fund investment would be 73 percent. On an after tax basis, opportunity funds could mean a two times higher return on investment as compared to a traditional stock portfolio.

See here for more information.