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Norfolk City Council has designated an area to be incorporated in the Downtown Arts and Design District, commonly known as the NEON District.  This program offers incentives for the formation of arts and cultural sites.

The purpose of the Downtown Arts and Cultural District (NEON District) is to increase awareness and support for the arts and culture in the city, which serves to support and create arts and cultural venues in the city, to increase capital investment and create jobs, and to promote Norfolk as the arts and cultural center of the region.

Local Incentives:

  • BPOL Tax Reduction
  • Permit Fee Exemptions

Eligibility Requirements

Qualified Arts Organizations located within the Downtown Arts and Cultural District (NEON District) are eligible for a reduction of their business, professional, and occupational license tax. The reduction will be utilized for a period of three calendar years, including the partial calendar year of certification and the following two full calendar years. The percentage of reduction for each year will be 100 percent reduction in year one, two, and three. The qualified arts organization must be re-certified annually.

Application Process*

Verification of:

    1. Business Location
    2. Qualified Business Activities
    3. Business type (New, Divested or Expansion)
  • City Administration 

    1. Preparation of Certification Memorandum
    2. Sends Memorandum to City Manager for approval
  • City Manager

    1. Review Certification Memorandum and sign with approval or disapproval.
    2. Return to Development
      • Forward to Commissioner of the Revenue
  • Commissioner of the Revenue

    1. Review to ensure company is current in all taxes and fees owed to city.
    2. Issue tax reduction

*Organizations shall apply to the district administrator for qualification no later than sixty (60) days after the initial commencement of operations.

For Questions or General Inquiries

Links and Downloads for Applicants

Important Information

Eligible Applicants certified for BPOL and Permit Fee Reductions should apply for incentives prior to applying for a new or renewed business license and new permits