Greater Richmond Partnership Business First Greater Richmond

Greater Richmond companies have access to a network of resources needed to support their business success.

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The City of Richmond & Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico

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FAQs

What is the Partnership's mission?
The short answer is "jobs, investment (new tax base) and regional cooperation." The long answer is in the mission statement: "To globally market the Greater Richmond region as a preferred business location, generate domestic and international prospects, and support the localities’ business retention efforts."

When was the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. formed?
July 1994.

Why was it formed?
While most local jurisdictions began setting up their own economic development offices in the 1960s and 1970s, it became obvious from questions from the business community that a regional organization was needed to market Greater Richmond as a whole. Local governments joined in forming such an organization (the Metropolitan Economic Development Council, or MEDC) around 1980, but success continued to be less than desired. By 1994, the business community had joined as a 50-50 partner, forming the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., which was Richmond Region's first real experiment in public-private regional economic development cooperation.

How is the Partnership funded?
The Partnership's funding is contributed by both the public sector (the City of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico) and private-sector, which includes the business community. Each public partner pays the same amount for its Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. services. A list of investors can be found here.

What is the board makeup?
Half of the board's eight members come from the private sector (usually top executives of major corporations that invest in the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.) and half from the public sector (usually top elected officials from each jurisdiction). Two ex-officio board members are chosen from the Partnership's Regional Leadership Circle.

What is the size of the Partnership's staff?
The Partnership has 11 full-time staff in the Richmond office.

What are the Partnership’s programs?
The Partnership has two main program areas: Business Attraction and Regional Marketing and Business Retention and Expansion. Research, information and communications support these programs.

What types of businesses is the Partnership working to attract?
There are six main marketing targets: (1) health and life sciences, (2) supply chain management, (3) advanced manufacturing, (4) finance and insurance, (5) professional and creative services, (6) food and beverage with two complimentary sectors (1)  corporate headquarters and (2) data centers.

How many outreach marketing activities does the Partnership do annually?
On average, the Partnership undertakes 50 marketing missions, trade shows, seminars, special events, direct marketing calls and prospect follow-up visits annually worldwide.

How many active prospects does the Partnership have at any one time?
On average, active prospects number about 350-400 companies.

Of that prospect number, how many does the Greater Richmond Partnership generate versus referrals from the State economic development group?
The Partnership generates an average of 85-90% of all its prospects through trade shows, seminars, direct calls, advertising and numerous targeted marketing missions.

How many prospect visits does the staff handle?
On average, one or two a week and over the last 20 years, the Partnership has averaged between 60-70 annually. Prospect visits usually extend over several days. They begin with presentations in the Partnership's Briefing Center and involve coordination with city, county, and state economic development offices and many of our private sector partners. Typically, we show off sites, buildings, provide information on labor, education, and locational advantages, concluding with a presentation of the outstanding quality of life.

How does the Partnership assist businesses that are already located in the area?
Business First Greater Richmond is the Partnership’s business expansion and retention program. Local professional economic development staff and trained volunteers interview business executives to assess companies’ needs. Then a network of resource partners is tapped to provide a customer-focused approach to problem solving and service delivery. The program has touched more than 3,800 local companies since the program began in September 2006.

How does the Partnership determine which companies to include in its “assisted company” list?  
The GRP has two tests it uses to determine if we should include the new business on our "assisted company" list:
1. Did the company credit GRP in assisting them in their site search? In their minds, did we add value?
2. Did the local government acknowledge GRP’s help in the location process?

Does the Partnership assist small and minority businesses?
The Business First Greater Richmond business retention program interviews companies large and small, regardless of the racial and gender makeup of ownership.

What have been the results since the Partnership's formation?
From its founding in July 1994 through June 2015, the Partnership assisted 465 new and expanding companies that invested $10.8 billion and created more than 53,000 jobs in Greater Richmond. This new capital investment equates to a return of $186 on every $1 in the Partnership's budget. This does not take into account the associated ongoing benefits of an increased tax base, enhanced individual incomes and job opportunities, or new retail and commercial opportunities for the region's businesses.

How does the Partnership compare to other regional programs around the country?
The media, consultants, and researchers consistently recognize the Partnership as one of the leading, most successful programs in the United States. Site Selection Magazine, an economic development publication, has rated the Partnership as one of the top economic development groups in the United States seven times since 1994.

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