The Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) provides performance-based monetary grants and loans to localities in Virginia’s tobacco-producing regions (34 counties and six cities in southern and southwestern Virginia as defined by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission). These grants and loans assist in the creation of new jobs and investments, whether through new business attraction or existing business expansion and are awarded at the Commission’s discretion.

In all circumstances, the Commission favors businesses that are in traded sectors and will bring new capital into the Tobacco Region rather than non-traded sector businesses conducting business within the region. In general, this precludes retail and food-service projects, as well as local provision of services and non-competitive projects.  The TROF program is intended to support the goal of the Commission to revitalize and diversify the economies of tobacco-dependent regions and communities. This goal is measured by job creation, provisions of a higher-than-average annual wage, project competitiveness, industry sector, and taxable assets.


Jordan Butler Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
jbutler [at]


Eligible projects must:

  • Locate within the Tobacco Region.
  • Align with the Commission’s Strategic Plan and the objectives and outcomes identified for the TROF program.
  • Be submitted by the locality where the project will be located.
  • Create jobs and invest capital in amounts sufficient that the calculated award is at least $10,000.
  • Provide an average annual wage for jobs that is above the locality’s prevailing annual average wage.
  • Have matching funds from non-Commission sources committed to the project and evidence thereof is satisfactory to the Executive Director.

TROF grants and loans are determined by a multi-factor formula and have the following conditions:

  • The Commission determines grant amounts based on prevailing wage rates, capital investment levels, industry type, and other factors determined by the Commission.
  • A TROF loan of up to or equal to the grant amount may also be requested. Loans are offered at 0% annual interest for a term of up to 10 years.  TROF Loans are disbursed in advance of performance and require security for the loan balance prior to disbursement.
  • A TROF grant may be disbursed in advance of performance or in arrears (after performance).  TROF grants disbursed in advance require security for the full grant amount prior to disbursement.
  • A performance agreement is required for all grants and loans, and repayment of all or part of grant or loan funds is required if performance is not met (and funds were disbursed in advance).
  • The standard performance period is three years.
  • An acknowledgement of the Commission must appear in any publication, announcement, or significant event related to the project.


  • A business looking to locate or expand its operations within a Virginia Tobacco Region locality works with the local economic development office or governing body to apply for a TROF incentive. The Commission only accepts TROF applications from governing bodies, local governments, or their controlled affiliates within the Tobacco Commission Region.
  • The locality contacts the Commission regarding the proposed TROF incentive by making an application to the Commission. Applications are submitted online at any time in the form set forth by the Commission, and contain such information as the Commission may request, including but not limited to:
    • Name and contact information of the applicant
    • Name and contact information of the private entity beneficiary
    • Name of the locality in which the private entity beneficiary is (or is to be) located
    • Number of new and/or saved jobs
    • Average annual wage of new and/or saved jobs (must be above prevailing wage)
    • Amount of private capital investment in taxable assets
    • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code of the private entity beneficiary (if applicable)
    • Competiveness of the project 
    • Specific dollar amount requested and an indication as to whether a loan is also being requested in addition to grant funds
    • The Executive Director can approve TROF grant or loan awards up to $1 million.
    • The Committee must approve all TROF grant or loan awards greater than $1 million and up to $3 million.
    • The Full Commission must approve all TROF grant or loan awards over $3 million.


Who can apply for Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission funds?  

Per the Virginia Constitution, the Commission’s public funds may only be granted or loaned to governmental entities (e.g., local governments) or IRS-designated nonprofits. Funds will not be awarded directly to for-profit or unincorporated entities.

Can funds be requested that will benefit a for-profit? 

Requests that will ultimately benefit a for-profit entity must be submitted by an eligible applicant and must commit to achieving measurable public benefits such as new job creation and taxable private capital investment.

Are matching funds required? 

Only if disbursement is requested upfront.  If in arrears, then TROF does not require this (though other programs do).

How long are grant or loan estimates and award approvals effective? 

Prior to the submittal of a TROF grant or loan application, an applicant may request an incentive estimate for a grant, loan, or both, from the Commission which is effective for 60 days. Application approvals of a grant, loan, or both shall be effective for 90 days from the date of the approval letter, after which new approvals are required.

What is the process once funds are approved? 

Once all agreements are signed and returned to the Commission's office with a signed Virginia W-9 by the locality, the locality can request disbursement via email or letter. The Commission will begin monitoring the Company's performance and requires repayment of full or pro-rated grant amount if performance agreement is not met.

How long does a company have to complete the project? 

Commission funds are typically granted for a period of up to three years, and loans for periods up to 20 years. Extensions beyond three years are possible for grants that have faced unforeseen delays but demonstrate substantial progress, subject to necessary approval by the Commission.