Virginia Enterprise Zone Program

About the Program

South Boston’s Enterprise Zone Program is a Commonwealth of Virginia economic development program managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The state’s Enterprise Zone Program is designed to offer state and local incentives for businesses to locate or expand within designated zone areas. Downtown South Boston is included within the boundaries of South Boston’s Enterprise Zone. The two state incentive programs are listed below and are subject to the availability of state funding. For more information, please contact us at (434) 575-4209.


State Incentives are available to businesses and zone investors who create jobs and invest in real property within the boundaries of enterprise zones.

  • Qualification for the Job Creation Grant (JCG) is based on permanent full-time job creation over a four job threshold, wage rates of at least 175 percent of the Federal minimum wage (150 percent in HUAs*), and the availability of health benefits. Personal service, retail, food and beverage positions are not eligible to receive job creation grants.
    *As of 2010, firms located in High Unemployment Areas (HUAs) may qualify for the JCG at the reduced wage rate threshold of $10.88 (150 percent of the Federal minimum wage). A list of HUAs is provided below in the Helpful Links section of this page.
  • Eligibility for the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG) is based on qualified investments made to commercial, industrial, and mixed-use buildings or facilities located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone. To be eligible for the RPIG, an individual or entity must invest at least $100,000 for rehabilitation or expansion projects and at least $500,000 for new construction projects.
  • For more information about state incentive eligibility criteria and grant awards, please reference the Virginia Enterprise Zone Grant Matrix.
Local Incentives:
  • Discount on listed sale price of publicly owned sites requiring a minimum taxable capital investment of $1 million and creation of 25 jobs over a 3 year period
  • Machinery and Tools Investment Grant requiring a minimum net new taxable investment of $50,000 in machinery and tools. This grant amount is awarded for a five-year period based on the tax increase for the payout year as follows: 100% the first year, 80% the second year, 60% the third year, 40% the fourth year, and 20% the fifth year.
  • Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment Grant available to non-manufacturers with a minimum net new taxable investment of $50,000 in furniture, fixtures, and equipment. This grant is awarded for a five-year period based on the tax increase for the payout year as follows: 100% the first year, 80% the second year, 60% the third year, 40% the fourth year, and 20% the fifth year. Recipient businesses of the Halifax Opportunity Fund are ineligible to receive this incentive.
  • Real Property Rehabilitation Tax Assessment Relief for demolition, removal, renovation, preservation, and/or redevelopment of blighted structures in the zone. . Qualifying projects in Town of South Boston must increase the assessed value of the real property by at least $65,000. Structures must be a minimum of 15 years old. Demolition and/or removal are not allowed in the Historic District of the Town of South Boston. This program reduces taxes payable on the rehabilitated property for five succeeding years.
  • Business and Professional License Fee Rebate available to new businesses in the zone or expanding existing businesses increasing and maintaining full time employment by at least 10%. This rebate based on the following schedule: 100% the first year, 80% the second year, 60% the third year, 40% the fourth year, and 20% the fifth year.
  • Utility Tax Rebate on Electricity and Natural Gas available to new businesses in the zone or expanding existing businesses increasing and maintaining full time employment by at least 10%. This rebate is based on the following schedule: 100% the first year, 80% the second year, 60% the third year, 40% the fourth year, and 20% the fifth year.
  • Building Permit Fees Partial Exemption from local building permit fees above the minimum fees charged for each individual permit. This incentive is automatic upon permit application for initial construction or expansion.
  • Free Chamber of Commerce Membership available to new enterprises locating in the Enterprise Zone and for non-Chamber enterprises expanding their operations in the zone. Expansions would include addition of jobs and/or investment.



Historic District Tax Credits

About Tax Credits

State and federal tax credits for approved renovation and restoration of historic buildings at least 50 years old located in the South Boston Historic District.

Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits

  • Properties must produce income to qualify for the federal tax credits. The federal historic rehabilitation tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income tax liability and is calculated as a percentage of the eligible rehabilitation expenses for a substantial rehabilitation project. Certified rehabilitations will qualify investors for a 20% tax credit. Rehabilitations of non-historic buildings built before 1936 can qualify investors for a 10% credit.

State Rehabilitation Tax Credits

  • Properties do not need to produce income to qualify for state tax credits. To qualify for a state tax credit a historic structure must be certified by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Certified rehabilitations will qualify investors for a 25% tax credit.

Contact: Virginia Department of Historic Resources (804) 367-2323 2801 Kensington Ave. Richmond, VA 23221



Facade Improvement Grant Program


The Façade Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance for improvement projects to the front facades of commercial properties in the Virginia Main Street (VMS) District in Downtown South Boston, Virginia. The Façade Grant Program is designed to restore, improve or create historic architectural features based on the document entitled “Keeping Up Appearances” (KUA) adopted by Town Council in April 2009. Funding for the program is provided by DDSB and administered by DDSB.


Commercial buildings located in the VMS Business District are eligible to apply for grant funding. If the application is made by a tenant, the property owner must give written permission and sign an agreement to maintain the property after work is completed.

Eligible Projects

The following activities are eligible expenditures if undertaken in conjunction with an approved total façade renovation:

  • Paint removal from brick surfaces by gentle methods such as chemical washings and scraping
  • Repointing masonry
  • Repairing cornices, transoms and other architectural details
  • Repair of existing windows and doors
  • Removing false facades and other inappropriate additions
  • Replacements of signs with appropriate materials and design
  • Paint
  • Canvas-style awnings (Awning replacement may be eligible as a stand alone item if the existing total facade is in good condition.)


  • General periodic maintenance is not eligible.
  • The property for which the grant is to be applied must be physically located within the downtown district approved by VMS.
  • The building must be inhabitable at the completion of the project.
  • “Keeping Up Appearances”, the Secretary of the Interior’s Standard of Rehabilitation and design advice from the VMS architects will be followed in evaluating facade improvements.
  • All plans must be reviewed and approved by the Design Committee and Board of Directors of DDSB before work can begin. There is no reimbursement for projects started before receiving grant approval.
  • Renovations shall conform to the building codes required by the Town of South Boston and all applicable permits must be obtained.
  • Improvements must make a positive visual impact.
  • Grants are issued on a first-come, first-served basis subject to funding availability.
  • Projects must be completed within 90-120 days from the approval date.
  • This is a reimbursable grant. Grant funds will be reimbursed once work has been completed, inspected, approved and all copies of all paid receipts presented to DDSB.
  • Property Owner’s labor is not a reimbursable item. However the renter’s labor may be included if it can be shown he was paid by the owner.
  • Property owners must sign a Maintenance Agreement committing to maintain the property for a period of 5 years after work is completed.
  • Work must be for non-disposable tangible assets.


  • Up to 50% of the renovation costs, not to exceed $1700 will be reimbursed to the property owner upon successful completion of the project.
  • Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted.
  • Signs are eligible if they are changed in conjunction with other facade improvements.

Application Process

Grant applications may be submitted to DDSB at any time. The award of grants will begin on June 1st of each year, based on availability, and continue until funds are depleted.

  • Applicant meets with the Executive Director of DDSB to review preliminary renovation plans and review application requirements. Applicants may consult with the Design Committee as needed.
  • Applicants submit the completed grant application, design plans or sketches, colors and material samples and contractor costs proposals to DDSB. Application must be signed by the property owner.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Design Committee on a monthly basis until funds are depleted.

Reimbursement process

  • Upon completion of the project the Design Committee will inspect the property.
  • Proof of expenses and proof of payment will be submitted to DDSB for reimbursement.
  • Grant funds will be paid within 30 days of final approval of the completed project.
Click here for the Facade Improvement Grant Program Application

NOTE: This Program is subject to change or cancellation at anytime by the DDSB Board of Directors. Any approved project that is in progress would not be affected.
Funds for building and property beautification projects such as facade improvements, exterior painting, awnings, and signs.
Contact: Destination Downtown South Boston, Inc. (434) 575-4209 432 Main Street South Boston, VA 24592



Virginia Housing Development Authority Mixed Use / Mixed Income Loan Project

Finances the acquisition, construction, and/or rehabilitation of low-income housing developments.

Contact: Virginia Housing Development Authority (877) VHDA-123  601 S. Belvedere St. Richmond, VA 23220



Loan Guaranty Program

Guarantees up to $500,000 of a loan or line of credit to reduce risk to banks or to increase short-term capital.

Contact: Virginia Housing Development Authority (877) VHDA-123 601 S. Belvedere St. Richmond, VA 23220



Virginia Community Capital

Provides loan and investment solutions for affordable housing and economic development projects.

Contact: Virginia Community Capital (540) 260-3126 930 Cambria St., NE, Christiansburg, VA 24073



Website Resources:

Information about State Rehabilitation Tax Credits:

Information about Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits:

Planning Successful Rehabilitation Projects:

National Trust for Historic Preservation:



Local Resources:

Destination Downtown South Boston 
Maintains list of available properties, assists with incentives
Contact (434) 575-4209 

Industrial Development Authority of Halifax County
Assists existing and prospective businesses to grow and provides incentives and resources.
Contact (434) 572-1734 

Town of South Boston
Assists with codes, zoning, sign ordinances
Contact (434) 575-4241 

Longwood Small Business Development Center
Offers resources for business planning including counseling, training and financing services.
Contact (434) 572-4533 

Halifax County Chamber of Commerce 
Promotes a thriving community for their members and provides networking opportunities.
Contact (434) 572-3085