Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF)
The purpose of the TROF program is to help make localities in the Tobacco Region more attractive to potential business expansion or attraction projects. It accomplishes this goal by providing performance-
based monetary grants and loans to localities for the purposes of supporting specific projects.
Projects are evaluated based on job creation, workforce participation rate, community affluence, prevailing community wage, and newly-created taxable assets.
In all circumstances, the Commission favors businesses that are in traded sectors and bring new capital into the Tobacco Region rather than contribute to the velocity of money within the Tobacco Region. In
general, this precludes retail and food-service projects, as well as local provision of services and non-competitive projects.
Additional information on TROF policies and procedures, the application process and template grant and loan agreements can be found to the right.
Tobacco Commission Community and Business Lending (CBL) Program
Moving forward, the Commission’s largest budget line will be directed toward community and business lending. This approach will solve a significant issue related to access to capital in the region while also contributing to the Commission’s financial sustainability. This increased lending activity will, in many cases, result in awards consisting solely of loans whereas past guidelines may have resulted in a grant award.
The Commission will expand lending activity beyond its current stakeholders to include business lending, when that business or its principals have sufficient assets to guarantee a loan or the business’s locality or IDA/EDA will guarantee the loan.
- This program will allow businesses to obtain up-front capital, a need which has been expressed to the Commission over the years, while allowing the Commission to increase the competitiveness of the region’s business climate.
- When offering loans, preference will be given to shorter-term loans, and in all instances loan rates will be fixed at the outset so financial projections can be done in a stable fashion. The rate will be set by Commission staff, in consultation with partners at VRA, but will aim to be lower than commercial lenders while still ensuring a return for the Commission that exceeds inflation.
Click here to apply for a loan!