GATE CITY — The Virginia governor’s office announced Thursday that Scott County was one of four localities in the commonwealth to be granted a Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) designation.
In addition to Scott County, zones were awarded to the cities of Portsmouth and Winchester and jointly to the city of Radford and Pulaski County. The new designations bring Virginia’s total number of enterprise zones to 61.
The governor’s office said each locality will use state and local enterprise zone incentives to “create new jobs, promote private investment, and support the overall growth of the local economy.”
“Bringing jobs and new businesses to the commonwealth is our top priority,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell in a statement released Thursday afternoon by his office. “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.”
Scott County Board of Supervisors Chairman Danny Mann said county officials had been anxiously awaiting the announcement since submitting an application late last year.
“We’re really glad they decided to award it to us, because I was really concerned when we lost it last year,” Mann said. “But we reapplied and now that we’ve got it back, hopefully some prospective industries will take advantage of it and we can get more people to operate in this county, and this will be a good incentive to do that.”
Scott County’s previous VEZ designation — which had been in place since 1995 — expired at the beginning of 2013 since no business had taken advantage of state incentives tied to the zone over a five-year period.
Scott County reapplied for the designation in October 2012, but had to wait until this week to learn if their application was accepted.
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