So You Want to Do Business in Orange?
You have made a great decision. Whether you are a new business or an existing business, Orange is a great place to be an entrepreneur. From the ODA to the State of Virginia there are several resources available to you and below is a quick guide to just some of those resources. Please take the time to visit the other websites to get additional information.
If you are moving into the area or looking to make a location change make sure to check out the available properties listing. This is a new service and will be updated and enhanced over time. If you have a property that you want listed please contact the ODA.
Orange Downtown Alliance (the ODA)
Belonging to the ODA provides for several incentives and means of assistance.
ODA Newsletter Feature Story
The monthly electronic newsletter is received by 840 recipients, is well read and serves to introduce new businesses, events and community-minded activities to the Orange community at large. The newsletter typically receives a 33 – 38% open rate which is well above the national average of 24.8% (Social Networks and Online Communities email marketing statistics 2017, Smart Insights).
All articles are constructed with the consent of the featured business or contact and are kept to 3 to 4 paragraphs, include photographs and contact information.
Copies of recently posted articles are available by request to email@example.com.
Business Member Registry
Business members will get their logo, website address, and a brief description added to the business member registry.
Through its’ affiliation with the Virginia Main Street Program the ODA is able to provide free façade design service. This is for the building owner and includes schematic color renderings with detailed notes for exterior façade improvements. Any design recommendations are consistent with The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the Main Street Approach since most of the buildings in a Main Street area are listed on the National Register Historic Places. For any design project, the historic features of the building, its neighboring buildings, and the architectural context of the community’s Main Street area are taken into consideration along with owner/tenant needs and budget, the property needs and the community needs.
Other Design Assistance is also provided for:
- Rear facades.
- Business sign design.
- Parking lot layout.
- Concepts for landscaping.
- Concepts for new infill construction.
- Technical Assistance including signage.
Virginia Main Street design assistance is only conceptual or schematic design. Projects requiring construction documents or permit drawings will need additional architectural assistance outside of the VMS design services and likely provided by local professionals.
Site visits can include meetings with property owners and studying individual buildings to find feasible design solutions that assure historically sensitive restoration and maintenance. Design consultations will range from providing assistance with compatible signage design to storefront design and rehabilitation recommendations. The Consultant shall also provide general technical assistance on proper building rehabilitation techniques consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, as well as looking at non-building improvements such as streetscape or parking lot layouts.
Long Distance Façade Renderings
Long distance façade renderings are façade improvement drawings and recommendations that property owners can use to improve their projects in a historically sensitive manner. These services are provided on a first come, first served basis.
The office of the ODA is conveniently located at 130 West Main Street.
Town of Orange
The Town of Orange, Virginia, situated amidst rolling landscapes and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, serves as the seat for Orange County and its business center and is a great place to visit, live and work.
The Town of Orange provides an economic development incentive of a cash incentive to new businesses which have a minimum of 25 full time employees and own the property where the business is located. This program allows a cash incentive based on the actual value, schedule, and payment of Town real property taxes for three (3) years. This program also allows for a cash incentive for each new full time position (full time employee (FTE)) created and filled above the year one employment level.
|Year||Financial Incentive||New Full Time Employee Incentive|
|Year 3||25%||$50 per each FTE over year one employment level up to $500.00|
|Year 4||0%||$50 per each FTE over year one employment level up to $500.00|
|Year 5||0%||$50 per each FTE over year one employment level up to $500.00|
The Benefit of no Business, Professional, and Occupational License tax (BPOL tax)
Besides the above Cash Incentive the Town of Orange does not collect a Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL) tax. The BPOL tax is seen as a major negative for both new and old Virginia businesses. The tax is imposed on a company’s gross receipts in a locality, without any adjustment for the business’s income or the deductible expenses incurred by the business.
According to a (2008) survey conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, BPOL taxes were collected by all of the state’s 39 cities and 47 of the 95 counties. Orange is pleased to not require such a tax on our businesses.
For more information visit the Town’s website or contact Wendy Chewning.
Orange County, Virginia Economic Development
Orange County is committed to supporting the area’s economic development goals. To this end, there has been participation in local, state and federal incentives policies by the Orange County Economic Development Authority and the Orange County Board of Supervisors for many years. Our goal is for the incentives we provide to make good economic sense for both the citizens of Orange County and the businesses located in Orange, existing and new. The primary considerations for incentives are the intrinsic value of the project to the industrial/business base in Orange County, number of employees, average annual wages, total annual payroll, and amount of investment.
If you are considering an expansion or new location in Orange County, please contact the Office of Economic Development at 540-672-1238 to learn more.
2016 Economic Development Incentive Policy
- Real Estate Improvement Tax Grant
- Manufactures Machinery & Tool’s Tax Grant
- Service Industry Business Personal Property Tax Grant
- Fast-Track Plan Review & Permit Fee Waivers
- Discounted Pricing on County Owned Land
- Encourage Diversified Retail
- Advance Start-ups
- Temporary Office Space
- Red Carpet Roll Out
- Real Estate Development Cost Grant
- Significant Investment Incentive
Please visit the Orange County Economic Development website for additional information or visit the office at 112 West Main Street Orange, VA 22960.
The Orange County Chamber of Commerce, (OCCC)
The Orange County Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that serves to promote business, enhance economic and community development, and serve as a catalyst for improving the overall quality of life in the community and region.
Of significance to newly established businesses are the complimentary ribbon cutting services that include media coverage, representation of fellow business owners, elected officials, Chamber representatives and partners. The Chamber also provides relocation and tourism packages to those moving into or visiting the area. New businesses can use the Chamber as a resource for referrals of other businesses or services.
Visit the Chamber of Commerce website or contact Lori Landes-Carter.
Central Virginia Small Business Development Center
The Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CV SBDC) offers free business counseling services, assists with feasibility studies and business planning, sponsors seminars and training events, and provides information and other services to the small and medium-sized businesses in the Counties of Orange, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson and the City of Charlottesville.
The Mission of the CV SBDC is to enhance the economic vitality of our region through effective and confidential client-oriented counseling, business information and training.
- Counseling: private, confidential, no-fee meetings with a certified business analyst are available by appointment for any business owner in this area to discuss that business’s issues, get assistance analyzing the business’s current situation, making strategic decisions for the business’s future, as well as to develop action plan(s) for improving various aspects of the business.
- Business Information: The CV SBDC website includes a wealth of archived information and links to other important resources. CV SBDC Business Advisors will also provide data and resources specific to an individual business as part of counseling sessions.
- Training: business owners and their employees can attend small group workshops for in-depth presentations on critical management topics, as well as other types of training events. A list of upcoming training events along with the topic, date, time and location and other details is available.
The CV SBDC is one of 29 centers comprising the Virginia SBDC Network, the largest and most effective provider of customized counseling and education for small businesses in the Commonwealth. The Virginia SBDC network is fully accredited by the U.S. Congress-sanctioned national organization, America’s SBDC.
The CV SBDC main office is located at the UVA Research Park near the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (beginning Jan, 2018); however, appointments can be scheduled in Orange at least one day per month.
Commonwealth of Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia works closely with existing and prospective businesses throughout the state to attract commercial investment and high value job opportunities in Virginia. Most all of these efforts are done through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). The mission of VEDP is as follows:
“To enhance the quality of life and raise the standard of living for all Virginians, in collaboration with Virginia communities, through aggressive business recruitment, expansion assistance, and trade development, thereby expanding the tax base and creating higher-income employment opportunities.”
To fulfill this mission, VEDP focuses on cultivating new business investment, fostering international trade growth and encouraging the expansion of existing Virginia businesses. To help cultivate and support business investment in the Commonwealth, Virginia has demonstrated a willingness to invest in those who invest in the Commonwealth with a variety of performance-based incentives. From tax credits and tax exemptions to cash grants, Virginia continues to demonstrate a willingness to invest in those who invest and reinvest in the Commonwealth.
The following is a partial list of incentives offered through VEDP and other state agencies.
- Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund
- Economic Development Incentive Grant
- Investment Partnership Grant
- Major Eligible Employer Grant
- Virginia Jobs Investment Program
- Customized Incentives
- Agriculture and Forestry Industries Incentive Grant
- Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity
- Growth Acceleration Program
- Corporate Income Tax Credits
Virginia offers a variety of tax credits that are available for use against a company’s corporate tax liability:
- Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit
- Recycling Equipment Tax Credit
- Worker Retraining Tax Credit
- Virginia Port Tax Credit Programs
- Research and Development Tax Credit
- Green Job Creation Tax Credit
- Sales and Use Tax Exemptions – Virginia offers some of the broadest sales and use tax exemptions in the U.S.
- Property Tax Exemptions – Virginia does not tax intangible property, manufacturers’ inventory, and manufacturers’ furniture, fixtures and corporate aircraft.
For more information visit the Commonwealth of Virginia webiste: http://www.yesvirginia.org/, or send correspondance to 901 East Cary Street, P.O. Box 798, Richmond, VA 23219.