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Northam budgets $150M for business site readiness

Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed two-year state budget will include $150 million to expand the Virginia Business Ready Site Program, new funding aimed at increasing the marketability of sites across the Commonwealth.

“These historic investments will be felt in every corner of the Commonwealth and represent an investment in our collective economic future,” Northam said. “C​​ompanies want to invest here, and we can make it easier for them by preparing these industrial sites for their use. We have an opportunity to improve Virginia’s economy and create jobs for thousands of people—so we must take full advantage of it.”

Virginia has secured 900 new or expanding projects, 101,000 new jobs, and more than $80 billion in capital investment since 2018. That is four times more capital investment secured than under any previous governor.

For three years in a row, the Commonwealth has been named CNBC’s Top State for Business. Virginia holds more “Top State” titles than any other state in the nation.

These one-time funds will be used to develop a large variety of business-ready sites. Of the $150 million, $100 million is dedicated to the development of mega sites that can accommodate the substantial needs and short timelines of businesses considering major investments in the Commonwealth.

The remaining $50 million is dedicated to the development of mid-sized sites all across Virginia. The more sites that are available, the more competitive Virginia is with other states.

“The availability of business-ready sites is one of the leading factors taken into account when companies and site selectors are deciding on a location for a new business operation, and for too long, Virginia has lagged behind in funding for site development,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Expanding the Virginia Business Ready Site Program to this extent has the potential to create 20,000 new jobs for hardworking Virginians and enhances our already-nationally recognized business climate.”

As the best state for business, Virginia has a proven track record of attracting companies and investments. The Commonwealth can become even more business-friendly by increasing the availability and quality of business-ready sites.

Other states spend tens of millions of dollars more annually on site development than Virginia does. These new sites ensure Virginia can improve upon our already historic job and investment numbers, as well as continue to rank as the best state for business.

The Virginia Business Ready Site Program develops and characterizes sites to enhance the Commonwealth’s infrastructure and promote its competitive business environment. The program identifies, assesses, and improves the readiness of potential industrial sites, which must contain a minimum of 100 contiguous, developable acres.

augusta free press
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