Governor McDonnell today announced widespread support for his amendment to the 2013 -- 2014 Appropriations Act creating the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. This new program will provide grants to qualified companies that locate or expand a facility within the zone and are involved in maritime commerce and/or ship goods through the Port of Virginia.
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "Businesses, local governments, and citizens all across the Commonwealth recognize the tremendous importance of the Port of Virginia and its role in spurring economic development and job creation. As we look forward over the rest of this decade, this impact is project to grow tremendously. To realize this growth potential, however, we have to level the playing field with our competitors and incentive the distribution, manufacturing, multi-modal, warehousing and other types of facilities necessary to support a major international port to come to Virginia. Without these types of incentives, the economic development and job creation opportunities surrounding our port will go elsewhere and our competitors will continue to grow."
The Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program will provide grants ranging between $1,000 per new job for companies that create 25 or more new jobs to $3,000 per job for companies that create 100 or more jobs. Companies involved in the distribution, manufacturing, warehousing, wholesaling, etc. of goods shipped into or out of the port, as well as companies involved in marine construction, ship building and repair, and other aspects of maritime commerce that expand or locate a facility within the zone will be eligible for a grant provided they meet the job-creation requirements. Grants will be funded through appropriations by the General Assembly, donations or gifts, and transfers from the Port Opportunity Fund, established this past session to enhance marketing and fund incentives.
"The Port of Virginia is one of the Commonwealth's most critical economic assets," said Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry DuVal. "The port and its related activities annually sustain over 343,000 jobs and generate billions in revenues for businesses both large and small all throughout the Commonwealth. These types of incentives will help encourage much needed economic development and job creation to further boost the Virginia economy."
Brett Vassey, President and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturer's Association said, "This new program will help revitalize the manufacturing industry in Southside Virginia. Given Virginia's global reach through the Port of Virginia, it is our plan to use this program to position Virginia as the manufacturing hub of the East Coast."