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Colonial Beach extends hand to businesses

What do you look for when opening a new business? Available property? Check. Available workforce? Check. Proximity to tourism and a developing waterfront? Check. A locality with its own school system and police department for a desirable, livable community for employees? Check. A regional population starved for new services, stores and employment? Check. And now for the first time in many years, prospective businesses can also include an impressive array of tax incentives to locate their business in the Town of Colonial Beach.

A small waterfront town of just over 3,500 residents, located on the shores of the Potomac River, the Town of Colonial Beach has spent the last two

years working on a series of incentives to entice new businesses to locate to our town, as well as keep the current business enterprises. Located in Westmoreland County, Va., the town is a primary location one and a half hours between Washington, D.C., and the Virginia Capital of Richmond, and only two hours from Baltimore.

Of key importance to the Town of Colonial Beach is its status within a federally-designated Historically Underutilized Business (“HUB”) Zone, which provides small or minority businesses with preferential access to federal contracts. New to the Town in 2011 is the designation by Virginia as an Enterprise Zone, which offers a combination of state and local grants for job creation and real property investment.

Additional business incentives are being offered by the town through the Technology and Tourism Zone, such as local tax incentives and user fee abatements. Finally, the top rates for the Business, Professional and Occupational License (“BPOL”) were reduced by the Colonial Beach Town Council in April 2011.

Colonial Beach is home to numerous restaurants, antique shops and a riverfront boardwalk on the verge of a growth boom. Due to the location on piers over the Potomac River, which is Maryland territory, residents and visitors alike can enjoy a unique opportunity to enjoy an off-track racing establishment. The community has also rallied around the efforts of the Director of Planning and Community Development, Gary Mitchell, who is working hard to secure a downtown revitalization grant from the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development. Through Mitchell’s work the town has secured a planning grant of $35,000 to help with the process. New businesses this year include a corner grocery/deli that has the whole community buzzing.

“The Town Council and administration are working with the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to eliminate the perception that Colonial Beach is not a business friendly town,” Mayor Fred Rummage said.

— Val Foulds, Town Manager

 

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