Portsmouth getting enterprise zone designation

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Associated Press & 13News Now

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:55 AM

RICHMOND (AP) -- Four enterprise zones are being established in locations around Virginia to encourage private investment and job growth.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said the economic-incentive designations are being created in the cities of Portsmouth and Winchester, Scott County and a joint zone in Radford and Pulaski County.

In Portsmouth, the zone covers 126 acres in West Norfolk, 425 acres by the Portsmouth Marine Terminals and 411 acres in the Paradise Creek/Elm Avenue area.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development has oversight over the enterprise zones. The department supports job creation and private investment through state and local incentives.

Governor Bob McDonnell said, "The incentives offered in the enterprise zones, along with our robust workforce and pro-business regulatory climate are just a few reasons why Virginia is the best state for business."

They include job creation and real property investment grants. The job grants, for instance, can provide up to $800 per position each year over five years.

Businesses that set up shop are eligible for state grants and tax cuts.

"It is the single biggest incentive program that the state has in its toolbox, and for the governor to award this to the city of Portsmouth for its second zone is a tremendous opportunity," Portsmouth Economic Development Director Patrick Small said.

The city already had one enterprise zone focused on commercial retail and office buildings downtown, and Small believes these designated areas help boost the local economy. 

"It means more jobs, more investment in the city, and more people eating in the restaurants. The additional tax revenue to the city helps us improve services to our citizens,” he added.

Click here to see the location of Portsmouth's enterprise zone.

AP-WF-10-18-13 0702GMT

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