An Enterprise Zone is a specific geographic area targeted for business development and revitalization. Enterprise Zones are designed to encourage new development and expansions in these areas by offering local, state and federal tax and cash grant incentives to property owners and businesses investing within the zone boundaries.
Application must be made annually for the job creation grant and in the year following completion of any capital improvements.
Currently, the city has three Enterprise Zones.
Area 1 includes the downtown district and extensive commercial/industrial areas along New Hope Rd, the US 250/340 corridors and South River. Within Area 1, there are special local incentives targeted to the Downtown Sub-Area.
Area 2 includes Waynesboro Commerce and Industry Park and adjacent land near the I-64/Rosser Avenue interchange.
Area 3 includes most of Nature’s Crossing Technology Center, SW of I-64 Exit 96 and Delphine Avenue.
Companies located in one of the zones can take advantage of both state and local benefits. A description of the benefits follows, or download a comprehensive chart.
REAL PROPERTY INVESTMENT GRANT
The Real Property Investment Grants encourage investment in both old and new commercial buildings within the Enterprise Zone by reimbursing up to 20% of the costs of renovation and construction.
Investors must make real property improvements of at least $100,000 to qualify for renovations or $500,000 for construction of a new building. Cash reimbursements are capped at $100,000 for projects with less than $5 million invested and at $200,000 for projects investing more than $5 million.
JOB CREATION GRANT
Businesses creating new jobs in the Enterprise Zone that pay at least 175% of the federal minimum wage and providing health benefits may be eligible for a cash grant of up to $500 per job per year for five years – firms that pay at least 200% of the federal minimum wage and providing health benefits may be eligible for a cash grant of up to $800 per job per year for five years.
REAL ESTATE TAX ABATEMENT
Property or business owners making significant improvements to a downtown building older than 25 years old, located in the Enterprise Sub-Zone may be eligible for real estate tax abatement. Eligible renovations must increase the assessed value of the building by at least 60% but not increase the square footage by more than 15%. Applications are required before any work is completed, as the City will assess the value of the building before and after all renovation work. If eligible, the assessed value of the property will be reduced by an amount equal to the increase in assessed value resulting from the rehabilitation of the structure for a period of seven years.
Businesses or non-profits locating or expanding into a facility that has been vacant for the past six months; received at least $25,000 in renovation or construction work; and is in a target industry (arts or cultural organization, office or professional services, tourism destination, or manufacturing that pays at least 150% of federal minimum wage), may be eligible for a local job creation grant of $250 per year for three years up to four jobs.
A 50% matching grant is available for facade improvements for businesses located in the Enterprise Sub-Zone.
SIDEWALK AND LANDSCAPE GRANT
A 50% matching grant is available for sidewalk and landscaping improvements for businesses located in the Enterprise Sub-Zone.