RD55 - Annual Executive Summary of Interim Activity of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission - FY18: 07/01/17 - 12/31/17
The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is a 28-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly. It was established for the purposes of determining the appropriate recipients of moneys in the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund and causing distribution of such moneys to (i) provide payments to tobacco farmers as compensation for the adverse economic effects resulting from loss of investment in specialized tobacco equipment and barns and lost tobacco production opportunities associated with a decline in quota and (ii) revitalize tobacco-dependent communities. (See Section 3.2-3101, Code of Virginia).
Payments to Tobacco Farmers
The Commission has compensated tobacco producers and quota owners for their losses due to the decline in tobacco quota and has satisfied its statutory obligation to indemnify burley and flue-cured producers and quota owners. No further distributions for that purpose are contemplated.
Revitalization of Tobacco-dependent Communities
Communities and citizens throughout the Southside and Southwest regions of Virginia continue to experience significant economic distress as a direct consequence of historical dependence on tobacco production, textile and furniture manufacturing and coal production. As today’s markets are global and employment is increasingly knowledge-based, the Commission seeks to accelerate regional transformation so that all residents enjoy opportunities for education and employment and benefit from economic diversification.
The Commission’s revitalization efforts are made through grant programs that make cash awards to local governments, government entities, and non-profit organizations. The Commission prioritizes projects that maximize benefit to applicants and other partner organizations, and gives preference to projects that have regional participation and generate the most significant economic outcomes – primarily measured in terms of new jobs, income and taxable private capital investment - for the residents, businesses and localities in the tobacco region.
The following is a summary of grants acted on by the Commission from July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. Of the 53 applications acted on, 39 were approved, 7 were declined, 3 were tabled, and 4 were referred to VRA (Virginia Resources Authority) for evaluation and potential loan funding.
An additional 29 applications, totaling $32,018,406 in requested funds, were submitted during this time and remain under review by the Commission.
Table 1 below summarizes these grants by program type, and Table 2 summarizes these same grants by status.
Note: some applications submitted in FY2017 are included in the tables below, as the Commission took action on them in FY2018.
Table 1: Summary of grants acted on, 6-months beginning 07/01/2017, by program
Grant Program: AgriBusiness
Grant Program: Education - 4 Year Scholarships
Grant Program: Education - Centers of Excellence
Grant Program: Education - Competitive Education
Grant Program: Education – Workforce Financial Aid
Grant Program: MegaSite
Grant Program: MegaSite Prospect Incentive Fund
Grant Program: Research and Development
Grant Program: Reserve
Grant Program: Southside Economic Development
Grant Program: Southwest Economic Development
Grant Program: Special Projects
Grant Program: Technology
Grant Program: Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF)
TOTAL ACTED: 53
Table 2: Summary of grants acted on, 6-months beginning 07/01/2017, by grant status
Grant Program: Approved – Active
Grant Program: Approved – Closed
Grant Program: Approved - Pending Award Documents
Grant Program: VRA Loan
Grant Program: Declined
Grant Program: Submitted – Tabled
Grant Program: Submitted – VRA Loan
TOTAL ACTED: 53