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The Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund (COF), which has been in effect (under various titles) since 1996, is a discretionary financial incentive by which the state government supports projects that create new jobs and investment in accordance with certain criteria established by state legislation. Grants are made to the community and may be used for such things as site acquisition and development; transportation access; public or private utility extension or capacity development; construction or build-out of buildings or training.
On March 20, 2017 the governor of Virginia signed into law a bill (HB2347) that amends the COF statute to provide that unless an exception has been granted by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, moneys in the fund shall not be used for any economic development project involving a business that relocates or expands its operations in one or more Virginia localities while simultaneously closing its operations or substantially reducing the number of its employees in another Virginia locality. Under existing law, that same limitation on the use of the fund was stated as a general policy rather than as a requirement.
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