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Grants and Incentives

Planning Grants from Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund

These AFID Planning Grants give local governments the flexibility to undertake the kind of planning, study, or local initiative they think best to grow and support agriculture and forestry-based businesses in their community and region.  The planning grant program also provides a greater voice in local economic development to agriculture and forestry stakeholders by requiring that any grant funded program be implemented by a board, committee or working group representing agriculture and/or forestry interests in the affected locality.  For additional information about the program and the application workshops, e-mail Stephen Versen, AFID program contact at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) at  

Entrepreneur Challenge

In order to highlight the opportunities for business startups and expansion within the far Southwest Virginia region, mySWVAopportunity isplanning the 2nd annual regional Entrepreneur Challenge.  The mySWVAopportunity Entrepreneur Challenge is a competitive process for emerging entrepreneurs and communities working to increase their business bases in far Southwest Virginia. 

With  business investment grants, business skills and leadership training and mentorship opportunities, the Entrepreneur Challenge is designed to help entrepreneurs establish or expand businesses with the utmost potential for success.  The cash awards will be made to new and expanding entrepreneurial ventures in a seven-county, one-city region. This business training, networking, and mentorship opportunity will result in pitch nights at which emerging entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses, and communities will present tailored incentive packages to attract entrepreneurial investment. Focusing on regional community economic development strategies, eligible Business Categories include; Arts and Culture, Outdoor Recreation, Value Added Agriculture/Agritourism, Restaurants and Hospitality, Technology/Advanced Manufacturing, or Support services for the above. The business must be located in one of these areas; Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, or Wise City, the City of Norton, Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Bluefield, Cedar Bluff, Cleveland, Clinchco, Clinchport, Clintwood, Coeburn, Duffield, Dungannon, Gate City, Grundy, Haysi, Honaker, Jonesville, Lebanon, Nickelsville, Pennington Gap, Pocahontas, Pound, Richlands, St. Charles, St. Paul, Tazewell, Weber City or Wise.

Application dates will be advertised in spring 2014.  

To find out more visit or contact Brandi Hall:  276-889-8188 or

Virginia Tourism Marketing Leverage Grant

The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing programs through the creation of tourism partnerships and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign. The objective of this program is to leverage limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending.

The Virginia Enterprise Zone

The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) program is a partnership between state and local government that encourages job creation and private investment. VEZ accomplishes this by designating Enterprise Zones throughout the state and providing two grant-based incentives, the Job Creation Grant (JCG) and the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG), to qualified investors and job creators within those zones, while the locality provides local incentives.