Incentives for Businesses
The City of Franklin and Southampton County aggressively recruits companies seeking to make a significant investment in both capital and new jobs within the community. One recruitment strategy is the joint Enterprise Zone designation which offers local incentives and state grants to qualifying companies. Within or outside the Enterprise Zone, Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. will work with the Commonwealth of Virginia to customize incentive packages that positively impact the bottom line of companies seeking to relocate or expand.
The City of Franklin and Southampton County offer local incentives through their Joint Enterprise Zone along with various state grants. If a company chooses not to locate in one of the six Enterprise Zones then the City of Franklin and Southampton County may offer other local incentives for potential new companies. Local incentives are project specific in nature and depend on the overall economic impact to the region. Consideration is given to the amount of capital investment made by the company, total job creation, average wage and benefit package per employee and potential tax revenue base to the local government entity. General business support services are also provided by Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. as needed.
Discounted Purchase of City/County Owned Industrial Land
- Reduction in the price of land per acre related to investment made
Building Rehabilitation Incentive
- Partial exemption from real estate taxes for qualifying rehabilitated structures for ten years
Machine & Tool Tax Rebate
- Receive a 50% rebate on machinery & tools taxes paid for a period of five years
Electric Utility Tax Rebate
- Reduced percentage on utility tax in decreasing amounts every year for five years
Rebate of Building Code Permit Fees
- City of Franklin rebates include: plan review fees, new construction fees, utility connection fees and all land use development fees
- Southampton County rebates include: building permit fees, rezoning fees, conditional use permit fees and variances and sign permit fees
Fast Track Permitting Process
- Community Development staff will provide comments in no more than seven working days
Electric Rate Rebate (City of Franklin)
- Receive 10% rebate on annual electric bill not to exceed 10 years and not to exceed $20,000 per year
Temporary Office Space
- Staff of the Franklin Business Center will attempt to provide free temporary office space for an administrative staff up to five persons
Workforce Hiring & Screening Services
- Franklin's Paul D. Camp Community College's Regional Workforce Development Center's One Stop Job Center will provide complimentary assistance in hiring personnel
Job Profile Assessment
- Qualified companies may take advantage of a reduced rate in conducting a job skills assessment and job skills need
The Commonwealth of Virginia has a comprehensive suite of incentives to offer new or relocating businesses. Below is a brief summary of some of the state incentives offered. For the entire listing of state incentives visit the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
Commonwealth's Opportunity Fund
- The Commonwealth's Opportunity Fund (COF) provides discretionary funds to secure business location or expansion projects for Virginia. Grants are awarded to localities on a local matching basis to support industrial development projects that create new jobs and investment in Virginia.
Virginia Jobs Investment Program
- The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) offers customized recruiting and training assistance to companies that are creating new jobs or experiencing technological change. The program is designed to reduce the human resource department cost of new and expanding companies.
Virginia Investment Partnership Act
- The Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) Grant and the Major Eligible Employer Grant (MEE) are discretionary performance incentives designed to encourage continued capital investment by Virginia companies, resulting in added capacity, modernization, increased productivity, or the creation, development and utilization of advanced technology. The Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant (VEDIG) is a discretionary performance incentive, designed to assist and encourage companies to invest and create new employment opportunities by locating significant headquarters, administrative or service sector operations in Virginia.
- Virginia's Enterprise Zone program provides state and local incentives to businesses that invest and create jobs within Virginia's Enterprise Zones. The City of Franklin and Southampton County share a joint Enterprise Zone with six identified zones, three in the City and three in the county. Combined, there are over 4,200 acres identified in the Franklin Southampton Joint Enterprise Zone. Qualifying companies who locate or expand in these zones can take advantage of local incentives and state grants. Listed below are the State Enterprise Zone Incentives.
Job Creation Grant
- Up to $500/year per new permanent full-time position earning at least 175% the Federal minimum wage with health benefits (150% for the City of Franklin)
- Up to $800/year per new permanent full-time position earning at least 200% the Federal minimum wage with health benefits
- Available for a five-consecutive-year term for net new permanent full-time positions
Real Property Investment Grant
- Up to $100,000 grant per qualifying building or facility investments less than $5 million
- Up to $200,000 grant per qualifying building or facility investments of $5 million or more
- Capped per building at a maximum of $200,000 within a five year term.
Rail Industrial Access Program
- The Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation provides funds to construct railroad tracks to new or substantially expanded industrial and commercial projects having a positive impact on economic development in Virginia. Assistance to any one county, city or town is limited to $450,000.
Industrial Access Road Program
- Assists localities in providing adequate road access to new and expanding manufacturing and processing companies, research and development facilities, distribution centers, regional service centers, corporate headquarters or other basic employers. The maximum award for an economic development access road is $500,000. However, the state will fund an additional $150,000 if the amount is matched on a dollar for dollar basis.
Sales and Use Tax Exemptions
- Virginia offers some of the broadest sales and use tax exemptions in the U.S.
Property Tax Exemptions
- Virginia does not tax intangible property, manufacturers' inventory and manufacturers' furniture, fixtures and corporate aircraft.
Virginia Small Business Financing Authority
- The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) offers programs to provide businesses and communities with access to capital needed for economic growth and expansion through government funding. Programs include: Economic Development Loan Fund, Small Business Microloan, Virginia Capital Access Program, Child Care Financing Program and the New Markets Tax Credit Program.