With the novel coronavirus rapidly spreading across the globe, companies and governments in Greater Richmond, Virginia, are leaning into the fight and are developing new tools, programs and policies to support the region’s economy.

Leading the way with virus testing

As COVID-19 cases grow throughout the country, Virginia Commonwealth University Health announced it is administering an independently-developed COVID-19 test for inpatients as a pilot program. The in-house test will significantly reduce wait times for results, and in turn, reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in the community. Testing during the pilot phase has been mostly available to patients requiring hospitalization who present severe symptoms of COVID-19 and is dependent on supply.

VCU Health

“Being able to determine whether a patient does or does not have COVID-19 quickly is of critical importance,” said Christopher Doern, Ph.D., director of microbiology at VCU Health who oversees the implementation of new technologies in the VCU Health clinical microbiology laboratory. “Being able to do that in our own laboratory will be a game changer in how we manage patients with potential COVID-19 symptoms.”

VCU Health aims to obtain same-day results with this testing option, dependent on test volume. While VCU experts develops their method, a Henrico-based company is shipping tests as fast as it can.

GENETWORx will begin shipping at least 800 COVID-19 tests daily to testing sites immediately. The company will be able to increase capacity to 5,000 tests per day beginning in April and as many as 150,000 per month. The CLIA-certified laboratory conducts a variety of diagnostic and clinical testing services but repurposed a portion of its business to rapidly analyze COVID-19 samples.

“The technology we have developed not only allows us to mass produce these much needed COVID-19 tests but also ensures an accurate test result in a timely 24-hour response time from receipt of the sample,” said William Miller, the company’s CEO.

Working toward a cure

Virginia Commonwealth University researchers began two clinical trials recently on a potential, experimental treatment for COVID-19. Arun Sanyal, M.D., a liver specialist and gastroenterologist at VCU Health, is leading clinical trials of an investigational drug for patients with moderate and severe symptoms of COVID-19 and the virus responsible for the disease, SARS-Cov-2.

“The selection of VCU as a site for this global trial reflects our ability to bring multidisciplinary care to clinical trials and in having the capacity, the breadth and the depth of expertise needed to manage these patients,” Sanyal said.

VCU is one of the handful of institutions in the United States to make these clinical trials available to patients who meet the criteria for this investigational drug. The first randomized, controlled tests in the U.S. began in February.

Combating coronavirus in real time

While medical professionals and consumers alike face disrupted supply chains and emergency preparedness, local manufacturers are stepping up to meet shortages.

While health care workers worldwide respond to the coronavirus outbreak, hundreds of employees at DuPont’s Spruance manufacturing plant in Chesterfield County are working to ramp up production of Tyvek, which helps shield those front-line fighters from the virus.

DuPont Spruance
DuPont’s Spruance facility in Chesterfield, Va.

“Our material is used to make protective garments that provide unparalleled levels of protection, durability and comfort for first responders and front-line workers in this virus outbreak,” said John Richard, vice president and general manager for DuPont Safety, the business division that includes Tyvek.

Hanover-based Anton Paar recently offered its customers a way to verify hand sanitizer recipes using its density meters. The company’s instrumentation products can help prepare concentrations for ethanol and iso-propyl alcohol-based formulations – even those made by your local distillery.

“Everything we make could be used as a cleaning agent,” said Jay Carpenter, who co-founded Reservoir Distillery in Richmond. “Ours [hand sanitizer] is just our distillate — what becomes our bourbon.”

The Richmond-based bourbon whiskey producer has started making what might be called a “hand-crafted hand sanitizer.” It’s a product that distilled spirits businesses are in a unique position to make, given their production process. Carpenter said the liquid sanitizer exceeds the 60% alcohol content typically defined as a sanitizing agent.

How local governments are helping

The retail, restaurants and hospitality sector has seen the biggest effects from the coronavirus. However, local governments are helping by establishing new programs and policies to support the local businesses in their communities.

Henrico County froze late fees and interest on lodging tax and meals tax payments. Chesterfield and Hanover counties also adopted similar relief measures on lodging taxes. The tax relief measures help hotels and restaurants with cash flow issues.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has proposed an amnesty period on penalties and interest for most local taxes through June 30. However, Richmond City Council meeting was postponed until next month delaying the vote on the Mayor’s proposal. When the Council meets next, it is expected to extend the application period for the city’s real estate tax relief program for seniors and people with disabilities.

In addition to the tax relief measures, Henrico also has announced an initiative to purchase meals from locally-owned restaurants for public safety workers and other essential employees leading the community’s response to the pandemic. Similar programs to help restaurants stay afloat have surfaced in Hanover and Chesterfield counties, too.

Bouncing back

Despite the disruption the pandemic has facilitated, Greater Richmond companies and governments alike are adjusting to embrace current market uncertainty. Richmond’s grit and innovation has shown in the first few weeks of the pandemic. And while our region is not immune to this economic downtown, RVA-based Chmura Economics and Analytics recently assessed regions across the country for their vulnerability to this crisis and found the Richmond Region to be among the least vulnerable regions in the country. The analysis ranked the region at 321 among 384 MSAs across the country based on industries present in the area and expected job losses.

Along with our public and private sector partners, the Greater Richmond Partnership has planned and is ready to facilitate our part of the economic recovery the region will experience.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s 2019 Urban Mobility Report highlights Greater Richmond, Va., remaining one of the nation’s least-congested large urban areas. The average commuter in Greater Richmond spends only 35 hours in traffic annually compared to the national average of 54 hours per year. Since 2014, the region has slightly increased from 34 to 35 hours per year in traffic and slid from the 77th most-congested area to the 90th.

How RVA traffic is saving you money

According to CNBC, traffic congestion cost the nation $87 million in lost productivity in 2018, around $1,348 per driver. With Richmond commuters spending only 35 rather than 54 hours per year in traffic, drivers in the region are saving approximately $430 annually compared to the normal commuter. Congestion costs for the average commuter totals $1,010 yearly with the 101 largest metro area’s growing even higher at $1,210. Richmond’s traffic costs commuters in the region only $580, meaning that driving in Greater Richmond is nearly half the cost of the U.S. average. Local drivers save on gasoline related to the extra time spent in traffic, spending approximately 43% less than the nation’s average commuter.

RVA vs D.C.

Richmond currently sits well below the national average for both annual traffic costs and hours spent in traffic. Unfortunately, Washington, D.C., doesn’t share this luxury. Time is money and Washington, D.C., drivers are losing immense amounts annually because the region is one of the nation’s top traffic congestion spots. Washington, D.C., commuters spend approximately 102 hours in traffic per year with costs reaching as high as $1,840, nearly double the national average. With Washington, D.C., ranked as the third most-congested large urban area, Richmond looks like the perfect place to do business since employees and delivery teams are spending less time and money sitting in traffic.

Greater Richmond’s access to Interstates 64, 85, and 95 provide the region with logistical advantages that enable firms to distribute products more quickly. In fact, Richmond is only a one day’s drive from 45% of the U.S. population – creating efficiency for supply chain operations.

Future Outlook

In metro areas across the country, the number of additional hours commuters spend delayed in traffic increased by 29% between 2014 to 2017, from 42 hours in 2014 to 54 hours in 2017. Although Greater Richmond’s population is growing by 200 net new residents per week, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report depicts that the region is expected to retain a slow growth of hours spent in delayed traffic. This forecast is due to the region’s access to multiple interstates, which has eased the flow of traffic throughout the area, creating substantially lower commute times. In conclusion, Greater Richmond drivers are saving money yearly due to lower traffic congestion, leading to lower congestion costs compared to both the U.S. average and Washington D.C.

Read about the region's transportation options

The Richmond, Virginia region has been recognized as a home-base for seven Fortune 500 companies, however, its manufacturing sector is continuously growing and slowly earning a reputation for itself both nationally and internationally. Currently, there are 1,107 manufacturing companies in Richmond with $1.84 billion invested since 2010. From coal mining to Rolls-Royce engineering, Greater Richmond has a history and tradition of producing quality goods and currently encompasses firms manufacturing machinery, plastics, fabricated metal products, fine chemicals, food and beverage, and more.

Prime Location

The Richmond Region’s location being the center-point of the U.S East Coast makes it one of the best and affordable places for distribution via air, land, and sea. Greater Richmond’s access to Interstates I-64, I-85, and I-95 provide the region with logistic advantages that enable firms to distribute products quickly. In fact, Richmond is only a one day’s drive from approximately 45% of the U.S population creating efficiency for manufacturers supply chain operations.

If the drive seems too much, the Richmond International Airport is always a great option due to its ties with FedEx, UPS, and DHL and its capacity to send 140 million pounds of cargo annually, making it one of the best-suited cargo facilities in the nation. Connections with these top cargo carriers allows regional businesses to ship products domestically and internationally within only one to three business days. Additionally, UPS Freight is headquartered in the region.

The Richmond Marine Terminal offers an affordable choice for container-on-barge deliveries and its 64 express connects to the Port of Virginia, the third-largest container port on the East Coast. Current firms utilizing the barge service are Altria, Lumber Liquidators, and Westrock and the terminal is projected to handle 3.25 million containers in fiscal year 2020.

Skilled Workforce

As of the first half of 2019, the region’s manufacturing employment has reached more than 32,000. As manufacturing becomes more and more automated, the region’s highly regarded educational institutions have made it easy for area companies to find both current and future talent. The region is home to 26 higher education institutions with over 71,000 students enrolled. Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical, and nuclear engineering with computer science. The region was also named #3 in the U.S for labor supply by Forbes with manufacturing workers comfortable with 24/7 operations. Virginia is a right-to-work state with low levels of unionization with Forbes ranking the Commonwealth as #1 for regulatory environment and #1 for quality of life for residents.

Food & Beverage is Booming

Notably, the food and beverage manufacturing industry is growing, with an employment growth rate of over 24% in five years. Since 2014, 15 food and beverage manufacturing firms have both expanded and established new facilities in the region.

Sabra Dipping Company operates the world’s largest hummus factory in Chesterfield County with a 220,000 square-foot factory which employs over 700 people. They plan on expanding this facility to acquire an additional 40,000 square-feet and expect to offer 12 full-time positions. This expansion and regional logistical advantages grant Sabra the ability to improve factory efficiency and get freshly packed goods to stores quickly.

Mavalério, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the largest producer of decorative confectionery in Latin America, currently exporting to more than 20 countries with Hanover County as its North American home. This international firm choose the Richmond region for logistic, living, and incentive reasons. Their ability to travel to over 50% of the U.S population in two days was key for the company. The cost of living was less expensive than other sites they considered, and they benefited from GRP’s Global Assistance Program.

International Firms

iMPREG group, one of the world’s leading providers of fiberglass reinforced liner systems for trenchless pipe rehabilitation, announced it is opening a new $4 million facility in Chesterfield County. The company currently operations at their Henrico facility but will move to Chesterfield once their new facility opens.

New international manufacturing in Richmond includes the Future Foundation announcing they are opening a sales and service office in Henrico County that will serve the U.S, Canada, and South American markets. Based in Delhi, India, the firm designs, manufactures, services precision rubber and polymer quality control instrumentation, as well as data acquisition and analysis systems for Bosch and more.

Anord Mardix plans to open a second power management facility in Henrico County bringing in $907,500 in investment and generating over 50 jobs. The company manufactures and distributes low and middle-voltage electrical switchgear and is the vendor of choice to the global data center and cloud computing industries. The firm’s regional success is due to its ability to supply critical power infrastructure to the county’s ever-growing data center cluster.

Programs & Incentives

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) recently won a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that will help the country’s research in digital, ‘Intelligent’, manufacturing technology. CCAM is an applied research center that brings together fundamental research conducted at universities and product development performed by companies. Members utilize resources, share risk, and capitalize on CCAM’s research and development success.

The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) develops policies and activities on behalf of its members by serving as an advocate for legislative, regulatory, and other manufacturing-related issues. As the only statewide association exclusively dedicated to manufacturers and their allies, their professionalism and member-centric ideology serve as a primary resource for consulting services and more.

There are also various manufacturing industry incentives ranging from grants to tax credits. The Clean Energy Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program is available for eligible companies engaged in the manufacturing of clean energy production, energy conservation, or energy storage equipment. The Recycling Equipment Tax Credit offers an income tax on machinery and equipment purchased for processing recyclable materials. To discover more incentive programs, check out the Incentives and Financing page.

Advanced Manufacturing in Greater Richmond

Manufacturing, I.T. and supply chain companies keeping a close eye on their budget should be pleased to learn electric rates in Greater Richmond are well below state, Mid-Atlantic, and national averages.

Companies large and small could benefit from relocating to the region. According to the Edison Electric Institute, the typical industrial rate is 5.4 cents per kilowatt-hour for a company using 1,000 kilowatts and consuming 650,000 kilowatt-hours per month in Richmond as of July 2019. When compared to typical rates of 6.7 and 8.8 cents per kilowatt hour offered by Southeast utilities and the national average respectively, this is an advantageous price for advanced manufacturing, supply chain, and I.T. companies.

A major reason why Greater Richmond electric prices are lower than other regions is because of both generation and delivery. According to the EIA, there are several factors that go into being able to produce and deliver electricity, such as:

  • Reliable transmission and distribution systems. Maintenance and repair costs to these systems can increase overall electricity prices.
  • Multiple, accessible power plants in the region. Richmond is geographically close to many of Dominion Energy’s power plant, such as two nuclear power stations, and other generation sources, such as solar facilities.
  • Access to sufficient water, wind and daylight. These resources can lower electricity costs with harvestable energy from hydro plants and solar panels.
    • Dominion Energy publicly committed to have 3,000 megawatts of solar and wind energy “in operation or under development” by 2022. That’s enough to power 750,000 homes with clean, renewable energy.
    • According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar electricity prices in Virginia have fallen 34 percent in the past five years, and the state is ranked 7th for projected growth in the next five years.
    • Dominion Energy’s pilot offshore wind project began construction in July 2019 and will consist of two 6-megawatt turbines. Located off the coast of Virginia Beach, it’s the first offshore wind project in U.S. Federal waters.

Any company looking to relocate should consider a region that provides the lowest electric prices. Greater Richmond, Va., is a great option for any company on the East Coast, as its statistically low industrial electric bills shine when compared to its competitors.

If you are looking for where to locate your packaging facility, look no further than Greater Richmond, Virginia. With a skilled workforce, affordable real estate, ideal location, and natural resources, the Richmond Region has everything a packaging company would need to succeed.

The workforce that the Greater Richmond area provides is highly skilled and logistically well-positioned for any company to locate operations in the region. Considering it is at the crossroads of Interstates 95 and 64, suppliers can easily distribute products to clients.

Paper Packaging

The paper packaging industry in the Richmond Region takes advantage of the abundant pulpwood supply that can be found throughout the state. Many companies take advantage of this resource as they use paper/pulp as the primary material. Another natural resource found in the Richmond Region are the water sources that can be found through the James and Appomattox rivers that help with the manufacturing process:

  • Cascades Inc., a Canadian company that manufactures paper tissue products and green packaging, recently purchased an existing facility in Hanover and plans to invest $275-$300 million into equipment upgrades.
  • Dominion Packaging, which makes folding cartons for huge companies such as Altria, McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch, recently expanded their state-of-the-art facility. They have leased an additional 20,000 sq.ft. in Henrico to meet demand.

Packaging Machinery

Advanced manufacturing in the Greater Richmond area has always been successful. The region’s workforce has proven to be skillful and the community colleges and universities in the area offer degrees and certifications in relevant areas making it a great place to recruit employees:

  • UK-based ProSeal, which produces food tray machinery for the perishable foods industry, came to the Richmond area to expand the company internationally. It began in a home office, then moved to a small production site, and eventually expanded to a 50,000 sq.ft. facility in Chesterfield. Now they are looking at expanding again as demand for its machinery increases.
  • JASA Packaging Solutions, which produces machinery that is used to improve packaging, opened a sales office for the equipment that they make in the Netherlands. Opening a facility in the United States allows JASA to bring its packaging solutions directly to their clients in the country.
  • CSi Packaging, a Dutch company which supplies fully-integrated material handling systems and has installations throughout the world, came to the region from Florida.

Advances in Packaging

Innovation and improvements in the packaging industry have been happening here in the Richmond area since cellophane and aluminum cans were first produced locally. The technological advancements that can be found in the region are among the best due to the infrastructure that is currently put in place. There are incubators and co-working spaces all throughout the city that breed creativity. The region is also home to colleges that offer degrees in the relevant fields which has added to technological advancement:

  • WestRock’s Research and Development division is testing its newest packaging equipment at a local facility near Richmond International Airport.
  • TemperPack, which develops sustainable insulated packaging for the perishable foods and pharmaceuticals industry, expanded to a new facility in Henrico and created 141 new jobs and now employ about 250 people. They recently signed a distribution deal with Albertsons pharmacies to use TemperPack’s ClimaCell packaging in hopes to reduce waste.
  • Liqui-Box, which manufactures plastic bag-and-box packaging, moved its corporate headquarters from Columbus, Ohio, to Richmond, Virginia. Paul Kast, Liqui-Box Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, said that Richmond “is a great city — there’s a great talent pool to integrate with.” The company recently agreed to acquire DS Smith PLC’s plastics division for $585 million.

Greater Richmond, Virginia, has an abundance of things to offer any packaging company which make it an attractive prospect to create a facility or headquarters.

Advanced Manufacturing in Greater Richmond

Companies with shared corporate services have seen many benefits from locating in the Richmond, Virginia, Region. The region’s middle-market quality of life and affordability are two outstanding reasons for employers to relocate operations from more expensive metropolitan areas.

Middle Office and Shared Service operations

Last year, the Greater Richmond Partnership commissioned the Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting Group, one of the nation’s top site location consultant companies, to complete an analysis on how Greater Richmond stacked up against peer competitors for the suitability of a ‘middle office’ operation. The data showed that the Richmond Region bested its East Coast competitors, including Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Nashville, Tenn.

Several companies decide to escape the high real estate cost of the nation’s capital by locating a shared services office two hours south in Greater Richmond:

  • Capital One operates its corporate campus in the region, with 11,000 local employees
  • CoStar’s research division was moved to the area, ramping up to 600 employees in less than 12 months
  • ICMA-RC opened a backup headquarters location in the city’s downtown

Download the Middle Office Whitepaper

Research & Development

Research and Development (R&D) centers are popular in the area:

  • WestRock testing its newest packaging equipment at a local research and development facility
  • Hamilton Beach teams of engineers, designers, and consumer research and marketing specialists
  • The Altria Center for Research and Technology anchors the Virginia Bio+Tech Park

From a consumer perspective, the Richmond Region serves as a popular test market. Since the region’s demographics and personal perspectives fairly represents American consumers as a whole, several food chains and technology companies have chosen the region for soft roll-outs prior to national launches. Capital One recently introduced its new café concept in the Richmond market.

Data Centers

Several companies have located data centers in the region, including Capital One, QTS, Peak10 and Bank of America.

However, with the installation of the MAREA and BRUSA subsea cable systems, the region’s becoming an even more desirable location. The eastern half of the region has quick access to the connection point in Virginia Beach before the cable reaches Europe and South America.

Facebook is the latest to take advantage of the region’s new connection points. The company is constructing three new 500,000 square-foot buildings with a planned total square footage to over 2.4 million square feet. The multi-billion-dollar project will run solely on renewable energy.

Call center operations

Richmond is a magnet for client engagement centers due to the congenial and available workforce.

Owens & Minor, Elephant Auto Insurance, Teleperformance, Minacs and LendUp have all opened customer management centers in the area recently. Dominion Energy and Wells Fargo have also operated long-standing call centers with continued workforce recruitment success.

Learn more about the region's advantages for corporate services

International companies are lining up to invest in the “Top mid-sized city in the U.S. for foreign direct investment” (fDi Magazine). And companies from the United Kingdom are leading the pack.

Forty-four UK firms have facilities in the region, making up 20 percent of the total 220 international firms. Germany is a close second with 42 total facilities – and like the UK — mostly advanced manufacturing companies.

“(Greater Richmond’s) pro-business attitude and business-friendly environment made the decision much easier,” said David R. Holt, CEO of UK-based BGB Technology, manufacturer of slip ring assemblies.

Recent UK investments include:

  • WDM, a leading global manufacturer of road surveying equipment and provider of survey services and asset management software solutions, anticipates adding employees to its sales and survey office to build towards a possible U.S. manufacturing operation in the years ahead.
  • UK suppliers are drawn to the proximity of Rolls-Royce, which operates a turbine blade facility in the region. Both graphite electrodes maker Erodex Ltd. and aircraft parts labeler Pryor Marking Technology were attracted to continued service for one of its main customers at the new U.S. facility – while providing an opportunity to break into the American market.

International firms often ‘test the waters’ in the Richmond Region with small offices before expanding. Proseal USA and ITL Group are two companies that started with modest operations.

Thomas Jull of ITL Virginia

Proseal USA, manufacturer of food packaging machinery, recently expanded its operations in Chesterfield County by doubling its space to 50,000 square feet and outfitted a second production building next door to its existing plant. With demand for its equipment growing, the company is even considering constructing a 200,000-square-foot facility.

ITL Group, a Kent-based medical device firm, opened a U.S. facility to service existing clients in Hanover County. Thomas Jull, VP of Operations (US) for ITL Group, said having an office in the U.S. has improved relations with existing clients and eliminated delays caused by operating in different time zones.

“We could have located the business in Boston or in Florida, or anywhere else on the East Coast, but here there’s a really good industry… people are just extremely helpful,” explained Jull.

Learn more about our connection to the UK

 

The Richmond, Virginia, area has a long history of producing quality goods. Richmonders were the first in the New World to mine coal and create iron works — even the first packages of cellophane and aluminum foil rolled off Richmond production lines. Today, manufacturers continue that tradition with advanced materials and fine chemicals, including DuPont’s Kevlar and Evonik’s dryer balls. The reasons why are plentiful.

Location, location, location

Richmond’s natural advantage at the mid-point of the U.S. East Coast has attracted domestic and international companies alike. With access to Interstates I-64, I-95 and I-85 converging in the metro area, companies can quickly distribute products to both Northeastern and Southeastern markets. In fact, we’re one day’s drive from 45 percent of the U.S. population which makes for efficient supply chain operations (especially for food manufacturers like Sabra Dipping, Mondelez and Maruchan).

An alternative to the region’s 100+ motor freight companies is the Richmond Marine Terminal, which is an affordable choice for container-on-barge deliveries. The Terminal’s 64 Express service connects to the Port of Virginia, the third largest container port on the U.S. East Coast. Local power users of the barge service include Lumber Liquidators, WestRock and Altria.

Sites and Buildings

Whether your company is searching for an existing site or looking to build from scratch, the Richmond Region has a myriad of options. Building costs are 11 percent below the national average in the area and ready-to-go sites with zoning, water and sewer, transportation access, and competitive incentives are available throughout the region.

Spec building development has surged in recent years, with companies jumping to lease light industrial opportunities – even before construction is completed. And most developments are already being marketed.

A skilled workforce

As advanced manufacturing moves toward more robotics and engineering, area companies have found their current – and future – workforce locally.

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) College of Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical, electrical and computer, mechanical, and nuclear engineering as well as computer science. At VCU’s da Vinci Center for Innovation students from the engineering, business and art schools collaborate to solve research problems for corporate clients. Companies are also supported by certification and training programs provided by the Community College Workforce Alliance.

Nearly 31,300 skilled manufacturing employees are available in-market. This proven labor force is comfortable with 24/7 operations and advanced manufacturing technologies. Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Compensation costs are among the lowest in the nation and Virginia is a right-to-work state with low levels of unionization and union election activity.

Membership-driven associations

One ground-breaking consortium that bridges the gap between research and development to actuality is the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM). CCAM is an applied research center that brings together fundamental research conducted at universities and product development performed by companies. Member companies pool resources, share risk and capitalize on the success of CCAM’s research and development.

The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA), dedicated to manufacturers and their allies, develops policies and activities on behalf of its member by serving as an advocate for legislative, regulatory, and other manufacturing-related issues. The VMA is member-centric organization and has a professional staff who serve as a primary resource for consultative services and programs to remain highly competitive.

The region has a strong lineage of manufacturing companies that have leveraged Greater Richmond’s advantages. But we’re just getting started.

See the companies based in Richmond, Va.

Companies large and small have chosen Greater Richmond for North American operations. Overall, the Richmond Region is host to more than 200 internationally-owned facilities in the area that employ over 21,000 workers. The products and services provided by these firms range from industrial machinery to specialty foods and from transportation to consulting services.

Greater Richmond has seen significant interest from two specific industry clusters: Advanced Manufacturing and Food & Beverage makers.

Advanced Manufacturing:

  • A locally-based Rolls-Royce manufacturing facility helped lure two suppliers, Erodex and Pryor Technology. The two UK-headquartered companies were seeking to improve existing customer relations while expanding its offerings.
  • German company iMPREG Group is expanding into manufacturing after a successful phase I. Their product, a fiberglass pipe liner, was first imported for distribution.
  • Polykon Manufacturing, a joint venture between two Air Liquide entities, is completing its facility to produce consumer cosmetics.

Food & Beverage

  • Sabra Dipping Company operates the world’s largest hummus factory in the region.
  • Brazil-based Mavalerio produces sugar confectionery toppings for North American distribution. The company chose the Richmond Region “because we can reach 55 percent of the U.S. population within 750 miles.”

Two-thirds of the Greater Richmond Partnership’s prospect pipeline is internationally-owned – meaning that more foreign companies are on the way to the Richmond Region. The Partnership has helped locate more than 100 international businesses since its inception, so is well equipped to guide your business through the steps necessary to establish your U.S. presence in the Richmond Region.

Learn more about Richmond's international appeal

The Greater Richmond Partnership is continually on the road, visiting with prospects and attending industry-specific conferences and tradeshows to bring new capital investment and jobs to the region. In the last few weeks, the team partnered with local economic development offices on two marketing missions: Hannover Messe and BrewExpo.

Olga Molnar and Micah Kemp
GRP’s Olga Molnar and Henrico County’s Micah Kemp at the Hannover Messe tradeshow.

Last month, Vice President of Global Investment Olga Molnar attended the Hannover Messe/CeMAT tradeshow with Henrico County Economic Development Authority’s Micah Kemp. Hannover Messe is one of the largest tradeshows in the world, with a total of 5,800 exhibitors and 210,000 attendees from 75 countries.

The 4th industrial revolution (artificial intelligence, machine learning, e-mobility, etc.) was on full display. As the Chairman of the German Engineering Federation Thilo Brodtmann said, “Hannover Messe is where the future of industry is discussed and presented…” For those who would like to have a glimpse into the future, there is no better tradeshow than this.

The team met with many of our existing companies as well as potential investors. The team also attended SelectUSA’s reception which drew a number of international advisors and consultants.

The Hannover Messe was followed by a two-day marketing mission. The team met with several companies that are considering opening a facility in the U.S., including the Richmond Region. We also spoke with industry leaders and consultants who shared their insights into what drives German companies to expand to foreign markets.

On this side of the pond, GRP’s Rowena Fratarcangelo and Hanover County Economic Development’s Susan Deusebio attended BrewExpo, the trade show connected to the annual Craft Brewers Conference, in Nashville, Tenn.

GRP’s Rowena Fratarcangelo and Hanover County’s Susan Deusebio at the BrewExpo.

More than 700 companies from 13 countries and 44 states exhibited at the trade show. Products ranged from Adhesives to Yeast Supply. The Richmond Region’s purpose in attending was to connect with vendors and suppliers that would be interested in having a location in Greater Richmond to serve the growing craft beverage industry in the region, state, and along the East Coast. Educating potential prospects about the many business advantages of Greater Richmond – as well as educating ourselves on industry trends – can prove invaluable.

Rowena and Susan also visited with numerous Richmond-area companies that were exhibiting, giving them the chance to say hello, express appreciation for their presence in the region, and get updates on how things are going with their business and customers.