More and more, you'll see communities blending their tourism and industrial economic development efforts, and management offices. Aside from benefits of office and staff resource management, a shared vision for 'community development' depends on the same infrastructure requirements, including site locations, connectivity of base utilities and business technology, zoning, parking/transportation and more. Another factor is funding, both private and public. Whether for new business recruitment or the expansion of existing businesses, funding is a key element.
Virginia is one of the leaders in providing funding leveraging opportunities, and Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is included in that mix. An example is the Commonwealth's TDFP | Tourism Development Financing Program. Created in 2011 to provide gap financing for larger-scale tourism development projects, the TDFP is a gap financing mechanism for projects in partnership with developers, localities, financial institutions, and the state. A TDFP-certified project must fill a deficiency (or void) in local, regional and state tourism product designated by the locality. It must also create net new jobs, proportional to the project investment. With this program, the Developer is sole owner of all debt with the Lender, while the Locality is the applicant. A local EDA's TDFP application is submitted to and certified by the State Comptroller of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
There are two tiers of gap financing available to successful applicants. For Tier One projects under $100 million dollars. Once a project is completed and generating income, the locality works with the VA Dept. of Tax to quarterly review the revenue collected on the development project 1% of the identified, quarterly revenue of the project is the amount each partner will contribute towards debt service on the project, until debt service is fully paid. For Tier Two projects, 1.5% of the identified, quarterly revenue of the project is the amount each partner will contribute towards debt service on the project, until debt service is fully paid
To date, four tourism development projects have been TDFP certified to receive gap financing and are projected to generate more than $8 million annually in tax revenue and create 1,400 jobs, including 825 full-time positions. The Virginia Resources Authority and the State Comptroller provide assistance to VTC in the evaluation of project applications.