Apply to Region 2 Grant Programs
GO Virginia Region 2 is accepting applications for funding projects that could boost the region’s economy. Region 2 anticipates funding projects in varying amounts with project periods not exceeding 2 years. Applications are reviewed once a quarter (4 times a year).
To Submit a Region 2 Application:
- Review information on this page about the Region 2 grants to better understand what you need to know before applying.
- Write a Letter of Interest and discuss with Region 2 Staff.
- Select the appropriate type of grant for your project and complete the application.
- Discuss with Region 2 staff early – we’re available throughout the year.
For feedback and assistance on project development, email Quina Weber-Shirk at the Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement.
Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a no more than 2-page letter of interest that can speak to these points:
- Includes the name and contact information of the expected primary applicant
- Identifies Region 2 jurisdictions to be impacted/involved
Includes list of likely partners and collaborators
- Provides a brief narrative description of the project
- Identifies likely total costs including anticipated GO Virginia request and matching fund sources
- Includes a clear description of expected outcome or result - clearly describing how the project would spur growth of higher-wage jobs in one or more of Region 2’s priority clusters AND respond to one or more of the identified strategies in the Region 2 Economic Growth and Diversification Plan
All those potentially interested are encouraged to submit a letter, even if brief and incomplete in order to begin the process of engaging with support staff personnel. Letters may be submitted that do not yet have some of these details in order to accelerate staff feedback and ensure that applicants are able to access and complete the full application in a timely manner. Interested applicants should review the Region 2 Growth & Diversification Plan prior to submitting their inquiry or application. Those with entrepreneurship projects must also review the Region 2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strategic Investment Plan. Priority projects are outlined starting on page 13.
The letter of interest process supports possible applicants by eliciting feedback and guidance on the appropriateness of potential projects for GO Virginia funding.
Letters of interest should be submitted via email to: Quina Weber-Shirk.
Grant Program Overview
GO (Growth & Opportunity) Virginia is a statewide economic development initiative designed to drive the growth of higher paying jobs and diversify regional economies by incentivizing collaboration between business, higher education and local government through nine regional councils. Each of the nine councils establishes priorities for grant funding opportunities in a regionally developed Growth & Diversification Plan. These plans are updated every two years.
Projects must meet statewide program goals as well as the goals of GO Virginia Region 2:
- Drive growth of higher paying jobs
- Generate a return on investment within 3 years (5 years for Site projects)
Region 2 Goals
These goals are explained in detail in the 2021 Region 2 Growth and Diversification Plan.
Must drive one or more of the regional priority strategies:
- Innovation Cluster Scale-Up
- Entrepreneurship and Business Development*
- Talent Development, Attraction and Retention
- Collaborative Sites and Infrastructure Development
Must target one or more of these regional economic drivers and clusters:
- Lifesciences & Healthcare
- Information Technology & Emerging Tech
- Materials & Machinery
- Transportation & Autonomy
*Entrepreneurship projects must align with the Region 2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strategic Investment Plan. Priority projects are outlined starting on page 13.
Collaboration between business, education, and local government
Engagement and support from 2 or more localities in the region.
Projects are required to document commitment of $1 of match for every $1 of GO Virginia funds requested. Documented match may be cash or in-kind.
3 Types of Grants
If you’re having trouble figuring out the best grant type for you, please contact us. We’re here to help!
Enhanced Capacity Building (ECB) funds are typically less than $100,000 and are intended to support studies, planning or capacity building activities that directly support a future GO Virginia per capita or statewide competitive funding request. In other words, the ECB request must describe and outline a clear “line of sight” between the ECB activities and the possible future GOVA per capita or statewide competitive funding request.
Per capita (or implementation) grants funds are typically between $100,000 and $500,000, though may be more in select instances. They are used for projects that have a clear Return on Investment or ROI. The anticipated return on investment of a proposed project resulting from the GO grants is one of the key measures to be used by the Board in making funding allocations. The nature of the GO Virginia initiative, however, is different from traditional economic development programs and incentives where results are more immediately visible through direct job creation and capital investment and the tax revenues such activities generate. These measures are important, but under GO Virginia, the proposed grant requests should also focus on long-term, sustainable change, economic diversification, and regional collaboration, so some measures of success are behavioral and thus, harder to measure.
Statewide Competitive funds are for projects that are larger in size and scope, are multi-regional (crossing more than one GO Virginia region) and represent an economically significant opportunity for the state.
Application Review Process
Applications will be scored based on these four criteria. Reviewing these components helps prioritize projects based on their feasibility and community impact. The GO Virginia Board reserves the right not to make an award to proposed grant requests that have a low score in one or more of the following areas:
- Economic Impact (35%)
- Regional Collaboration (30%)
- Project Readiness (20%)
- Project Sustainability (15%)
September 8, 2022: GO Virginia Region 2 Application Webinar