Portsmouth Economic Development understands that business comes with a number of expenses and a main concern of owners and operators through the site selection or expansion process is cost mitigation. We have the expertise and relationships to connect new and expanding businesses with a wide variety of resources, including local, regional, and state incentives.  

Let’s talk about why Portsmouth is the smart move for business!

**Please note that all incentives may be subject to funding availability. 

Business Investment Grants

The Portsmouth Economic Development Authority funds a variety of matching grants to provide financial assistance to Portsmouth businesses. Learn more about our start-up, new, and expanding small business grant opportunities. In addition to our small business investment grants, we offer a real property investment grant for property owners and business owners.


The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ)

Portsmouth is home to two different Enterprise Zones. These Virginia Enterprise Zones offer incentives that are available to businesses and zone investors who create jobs and invest in real property within the boundaries of the enterprise zones. In addition to state incentives, our locality offers its own package of incentives tailored to our unique industries.


Portsmouth Tax Exemption Programs

To support the development and growth of businesses throughout the City, these programs support the historic rehabilitation, redevelopment and improvement to existing buildings and sites. Our environmental restoration site tax exemptions are available for select land sites.


Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

As home to the Port of Virginia, Portsmouth businesses have immediate access to Foreign Trade Zone #20 and can benefit from FTZ designations. Activated businesses in an FTZ can reduce or eliminate duty on imports and take advantage of other benefits to encourage foreign commerce within the United States.

HUBZone Incentives

Federal HUBZones (or Historically Underutilized Business Zones) are located throughout Portsmouth. Businesses located in HUBZones can receive additional resources through the SBA's program. The HUBZone Program is a “place-based” federal contracting program for small businesses. The program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and provides both Federal prime contract and subcontract benefits to HUBZone certified businesses.


Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones are federal area designations established by Congress in order to support long-term investment in select locations. This is an economic and community development tax incentive that provides an avenue for investors to support distressed communities to address areas of the Commonwealth that have experienced uneven economic growth and recovery.


Port Host Community Revitalization Fund

The Port Host Community Revitalization Fund is a state-administered program available to the five port host communities in Virginia. Port and industrial-related projects are eligible to apply for funding that can be used for the strategic removal or redevelopment of port related properties in the five port host communities of the town of Front Royal and the cities of Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond.


PPIC Job Creation Grant

The Portsmouth Port & Industrial Commission (PPIC) Job Creation Grant (JCG) is designed to provide new and expanding existing Portsmouth based businesses in the industrial and port-related industry sectors with financial assistance for the creation of new positions that provide employees living wages.