TOBACCO REGION REVITALIZATION COMMISSION MEETS IN RICHMOND
GOVERNOR YOUNGKIN JOINS COMMISSION IN HONORING THE SERVICE OF SENATOR FRANK RUFF
COMMISSION APPROVES NEW PROGRAMS FOR AGRICULTURE AND ENERGY, CREATES NEW LENDING PARTNERSHIP WITH THE VIRGINIA SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING AUTHORITY
Richmond, VA – The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission held its first of three scheduled meetings for the year on Tuesday, January 9th, in Richmond. The Commission approved 17 funding requests in support of a variety of organizations and initiatives across Southwest and Southern Virginia. These include investments in industrial sites, funding for agribusiness projects and support for new tourism initiatives. These awards are part of the Commission’s 25 years of work helping to rebuild the economies of Southern and Southwest Virginia.
For a full list of projects approved at this meeting please CLICK HERE. For more information, the meeting packet on our website contains detailed project descriptions, staff comments, grant requirements and other business, including project extensions and modifications to previous awards.
The Commission was honored to be joined at its reception by Governor Glenn Youngkin and members of his administration. The Governor thanked Senator Ruff for his 30 years of service in the General Assembly and 25 years of service to the Commission.
Tobacco Commission Chairman, Senator Frank Ruff said, “It has been an honor to serve on the Tobacco Commission since its inception. The work the Commission has done over the last 25 years has improved the lives of countless individuals across Southern and Southwest Virginia. While I am proud of everything the Commission has accomplished, our work in creating educational opportunities for rural Virginians that allow them to reach their full potential, support their families and contribute meaningfully to their communities has been particularly rewarding. I am confident that the Commission will continue to be a force for positive change in the years to come, and I look forward to seeing its impact continue to grow.”
Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Tobacco Commission Acting Executive Director, Hon. James E. Campos added, “I can’t thank Senator Ruff enough for his service over the last 25 years. His knowledge and experience have been invaluable as we move forward with new and enhanced programs to support agriculture and energy-focused development across Southern and Southwest Virginia.
These new programs will allow us to expand on the good work the Commission already does in agriculture and bring the energy jobs of the future to Southern and Southwest Virginia. I am also pleased that the Commission approved a new lending program that will allow the Commission to play a larger role in solving access to capital issues for businesses in Southern and Southwest Virginia.
I am especially appreciative of Governor Glenn Youngkin and his Compete to Win initiative that has allowed us to foster an environment of increased innovation, collaboration and inter-agency cooperation that sets the Commission up for even greater success as we move forward.”
The Commission authorized a number of new programs and initiatives.
Energy Ingenuity Fund
The Commission’s new Energy Ingenuity Fund will provide grants and loans for high impact, energy-related economic development projects with the following objectives:
- Deploy resources to amplify and accelerate investment in energy projects.
- Collaborate with key partners in energy and economic development.
- Enhance and expand the region’s energy supply chain.
- Develop more energy resiliency in Southern and Southwest Virginia.
Up to a total of $12 million ($6 million per region) will be made available with additional details coming soon.
The Commission’s Agribusiness Fund will provide grants and loans for agriculture and forestry related economic development projects in the region with the following objectives:
- Create or expand market opportunities for Tobacco Region producers that result in a quantifiable increase in net farm income.
- Leverage Federal, State and private grant opportunities for agribusiness development.
- Diversify and enhance the region’s agricultural economy.
- Provide an enabling environment for innovation in the agricultural entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This program is expected to be rolled out in February.
Lending – TRRC/VSBFA Partnership
The Commission has created a $10 million loan fund for economic development loans to be administered in partnership with the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA). The target markets for the new program include economic development organizations, agribusiness, and energy-related projects, especially those with other public sector support.
The program leverages VSBFA’s experience and capacity for small business and commercial lending with the Commission’s resources and knowledge of the region’s lending needs to solve problems of capital access limiting business growth.
This program is expected to be rolled out this Spring.