The City of Newport News has created several designated tourism zones within the City limits in an effort to attract more investment into areas prioritized in the City-wide Tourism Development Plan and Retail Development Strategy as well as the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Qualified new or expanding businesses that are interested in locating in one of these zones may be eligible for incentives.
The City of Newport News’ Tourism Zones ordinance outlines the eligibility requirements for projects to be considered for incentives.
In the Upper Warwick Boulevard / Denbigh, the Southeast Community and the Greater Hilton Tourism Zones, the eligibility requirements for new and expanding businesses are as follows:
- For existing businesses that are expanding, a minimum of two (2) new Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs or at least a $125,000 capital investment.
- For new businesses locating in the City, a minimum of four (4) FTE jobs or at least a $250,000 capital investment.
In the Patrick Henry Tourism Zone, the eligibility requirements for new and expanding businesses are as follows:
- For existing businesses that are expanding, a minimum of four (4) new FTE jobs or at least a $250,000 capital investment.
- For new businesses locating in the City, a minimum of eight (8) FTE jobs or at least a $500,000 capital investment.
The level of incentives is determined based on the size of the capital investment, the number of jobs created and how the project meets the following areas of interest to the City of Newport News.
- Increase in local tax generation
- Business, Professional, and Occupational Licenses (BPOL) tax generation
- Annual Contribution to City’s Strategic Priorities
- Environmental Innovation
- Contribution to public art
- SWaM Certified Business
Each project must submit a project description and financial projections, along with an incentive application, to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Economic Development Authority of the City of Newport News, Virginia (EDA). Once the application is received, EDA staff will review and score each project based on a weighted scale, which addresses the areas of interest described above. Each project will then be assigned a recommended incentive package, which will include the amount and duration of the incentive. The EDA Board will review the project and the recommended incentive package, and take action to approve, modify, or deny. Annual performance reports are required from each company receiving an incentive agreement.
For Tourism Zone projects, the incentive value, for up to a ten-year term, is generated from among the following:
- Reduction or waiver of BPOL taxes
- Performance grants on tax revenue generation from meals, lodging, admissions, and local sales, as applicable
Please refer to the specific provisions in the ordinance.