Richmond International Airport (RIC) sets new passengers record in 2019

At the monthly meeting of the Capital Region Airport Commission, Richmond International Airport (RIC) reported a new annual record of 4,379,663 passengers, eclipsing the previous mark established a year ago by 7.4 percent. Additionally, with a passenger traffic count of 381,767, December 2019 established a new December record, topping last year’s mark by 12.7 percent. The Airport has reported 27 consecutive months of record traffic.

Moreover, in 2019 the Airport reported annual increases in total cargo, gaining 1.0 percent to 140 million pounds handled, and in aircraft operations, showing 5.3 percent growth in aircraft movements versus the previous year.

In December, all signatory carriers, including Southwest (+18.8%), United (+13.6%), Spirit (+12.9%), and Delta (+12.4%), reported year-over-year passenger growth. Delta Air Lines was the market share leader, claiming a 30.3 percent share of passenger traffic, followed by American and United.

Total cargo, measured as a sum of freight and mail, increased 2.0 percent in December versus the year-ago period and total operations gained 7.6 percent over December 2018.

Read the full press release here.

$350m casino proposed in Richmond, project would create 2,500+ jobs

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has proposed a $350 million, 275-room resort hotel and casino in Richmond, the tribe announced Friday as the Virginia House of Delegates considers legislation to allow the Pamunkey to pursue commercial gaming in Norfolk, Va., and Richmond.

The tribe, which is also moving toward full approval of a casino and resort in Norfolk, says this project will attract 4 million annual visitors and create more than 1,500 permanent full-time jobs, in addition to more than 1,000 construction jobs. The resort and casino would be located on 36 acres in South Richmond along Ingram Avenue near Commerce Road, on three adjacent land parcels.

The tribe also has secured a 13-acre property which would be used to build a workforce training facility. Ultimately, that property will have a different use once the resort opens, such as a grocery store or health clinic to benefit the community, the tribe says.

The resort will include a four-diamond hotel tower with a spa, pool, fitness center and several restaurants, as well as a 1,000-space parking garage.

Read the full story here.

CoStar to expand operations in Richmond, adding 2,000 jobs

Mayor Levar Stoney announced a series of enhancements made to the Navy Hill project agreement, including the intention of CoStar to bring 2,000 well-paying jobs to the neighborhood.

“This interest from a NASDAQ 100 company that already has a strong presence in our city shows that with Navy Hill, Richmond can increase our tax base and bring new jobs downtown,” said Mayor Stoney. “Richmond can be competitive.”

CoStar announced in 2016 that it would headquarter its primary operations center in Richmond. The compact has infused more than $250 million into the local economy from its riverfront location at 501 South 5th Street. The company employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide.

“The Navy Hill development delivers everything a company like CoStar is looking for – access to transit, entertainment, conferencing, and new multi-family residential housing, all in a walkable and vibrant neighborhood,” said Andrew Florance, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoStar Group. “Without the Navy Hill development as a complete-package option – we would not be talking about significantly expanding our commitment to the city of Richmond, a place where we already employ nearly 1,000 people. Richmond has so much to offer, which is why we would like to keep growing with it, providing competitive careers and compensation for residents in the process.

“Our employees have investigative, insightful minds and they think long-term. We do too. With Navy Hill, we’re able to plan not only for the growth that the company will experience in the near term – but also what the company can do 10 years from now. We’re eager to see this proposal move forward, and even more excited to potentially deepen our commitment to Richmond.”

Read the full story here.

Dominion chooses turbine supplier for $7.8b offshore wind farm

Richmond-based Dominion Energy has chosen Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy S.A. to supply 600-foot-tall turbines for its proposed $7.8 billion wind farm off the coast of Virginia. Dominion aims to complete the 220-turbine wind farm 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach by 2026.

This wind farm would be the largest in the nation and is part of Dominion’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 55% over the next decade and 80% by 2050. If successful the project would produce enough zero-carbon electricity to power 650,000 Virginia homes.

Read the full story here



Tympanogen awarded $250,000 contract from the Department of Defense

RICHMOND – Tympanogen, a medical device startup based in Richmond, Va., was awarded nearly $250,000 as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the Department of Defense (DOD). This Phase I award will support safety testing of Tympanogen’s gel patch for eardrum repair. This gel patch is intended to be used in field settings and will treat service members sustaining perforated eardrums, one of the most common blast injuries.

“We are excited to work with the DOD to develop our eardrum repair gel for field use,” said Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney, Co-Founder and CEO of Tympanogen and the Principal Investigator for the award. “Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities faced by veterans. By making eardrum repair faster, easier, and more accessible at the time of injury, we can prevent the complications that lead to this disability for tens of thousands of service members.”

Tympanogen is located in the Biotech Park in downtown Richmond and is on a mission to simplify surgical procedures using their innovative gel technology.

Speaking about the award, Carrie Roth, President & CEO, Activation Capital and VA Bio+Tech Park said, “Dr. Horn-Ranney and her team are making groundbreaking developments in their labs and the work they are doing will have life changing impacts on patients. The grant from the Department of Defense is yet another acknowledgement of the innovative activities happening at Tympanogen.”

This work is supported by the US Army Medical Research and Development Command/DOD Hearing Center of Excellence under Purchase Order No. W81XWH20P0013. The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation.

About Tympanogen:
Tympanogen, Inc. develops innovative ear, nose, and throat devices based on our proprietary gel technology. Their lead product, Perf-Fix, will transform traditional tympanoplasty procedures into a quick office visit.

Tympanogen was founded in 2014 by a dynamic and energetic team of engineers and physicians dedicated to simplifying medical procedures and reducing healthcare costs. The company operates out of the VA Bio+Tech Park in Richmond, Va.

About Activation Capital:
Activation Capital engages and connects the many influential players in our innovation ecosystem, and strives to give startup founders access to the tools and resources they need to navigate the entrepreneurial process. The Activation Council supports and coordinates these efforts among the many available resources to foster innovation in companies of all kinds. Activation Council brings clarity and perspective in the short term and vision for the long term that generates more collision points that lead to successful business outcomes. Our goal is for the region to become known as a hub for all things innovative and as an environment where entrepreneurs and innovative companies thrive. We want the Activation Capital to be known as the place where any person with an idea can come to find resources needed to take an idea from start to phenomenal.

The VA Bio+Tech Park is a vibrant, life sciences community located adjacent to the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center on a 34-acre campus in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Since its creation, the Park has supported nearly 160 private and non-profit companies, state and federal laboratories, and research institutes/administrative functions of VCU and VCU Health, employing approximately 2,400 researchers, scientists, engineers and support personnel. Major member organizations in the park include the VCU Innovation Gateway and VCU Ventures, the Altria Center for Research and Technology, United Network for Organ Sharing, True Health Diagnostics and the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. The Park also has developed partnerships with neighboring Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico Counties to extend its reach.


AvePoint scores $200m in capital; expects to fuel Richmond operations

A New Jersey-based software company with a major presence in downtown Richmond has pulled in a massive funding deal that’ll spill down to its local operations.

AvePoint, which specializes in Microsoft Cloud and Office 365 tech services, has closed on a $200 million capital raise.

Though it’s based in Jersey City, N.J., the nearly 20-year-old company planted a sizable office in Richmond in 2017, which has since grown to a staff of 100 working in a 12,000-square-foot space in Riverfront Plaza.

COO and general counsel Brian Brown said the new funding will allow AvePoint to grow both its staff and footprint in Richmond.

“Our traditional headquarters are in New Jersey, but our primary operations center is here in Richmond,” Brown said. “I anticipate our staffing needs will increase.”

He said they’ll likely add jobs of all levels to its Richmond roster. It’s already posted new jobs for Richmond this week. The company has more than 1,500 workers globally.

Read the full story here

DuPont to modernize and expand Chesterfield facility, hire 60

RICHMOND — Gov. Ralph Northam announced that DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (DuPont) will modernize and expand its manufacturing and technology presence in Chesterfield County, the company’s largest manufacturing site. A global provider of technology-based materials, ingredients, and solutions, DuPont will invest more than $75 million in the Spruance site, creating approximately 60 new jobs over the next several years.

DuPont Spruance
DuPont Spruance

“Innovative companies like DuPont help to keep Virginia at the forefront of a rapidly evolving manufacturing industry,” said Gov. Northam. “DuPont has provided high-quality, well-paying jobs for hardworking Virginians for nearly a century. The expansion of the company’s Spruance site in Chesterfield County is a significant win, and we are grateful to DuPont for their ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Chesterfield County and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. Northam approved a $250,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Chesterfield County with the project. Gov. Northam also approved a performance-based grant of $1 million from the Virginia Investment Performance (VIP) program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies.

DuPont is eligible to receive Sales and Use Tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment, as well as benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. The company also qualifies for a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created and a Research and Development Expenses Tax Credit for qualifying R&D expenses. Funding and services to support DuPont employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).

“DuPont’s decision to expand its manufacturing and technology presence in Chesterfield County is a strong testament to the greater Richmond region’s supportive environment for 21st-century manufacturers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Companies from around the world continue to locate and expand in the area for its skilled workforce and top-tier institutions of higher education, including Virginia Commonwealth University, Reynolds Community College, and John Tyler Community College. Virginia is proud to have partnered with DuPont for 90 years, and we look forward to their next phase of growth.”

“The DuPont Spruance site has been proud to call Richmond its home for over 90 years,” said David Johnson, DuPont Spruance Site Manager. “Since 2015 we have invested more than $250 million to upgrade and improve our manufacturing assets that deliver essential innovations for our customers around the world. We value the support we have received from the Governor, Chesterfield County and other state and local economic development organizations to bring skilled jobs to and expand manufacturing in the area.”

DuPont is a global leader in technology-based materials, ingredients, and solutions in electronics, transportation, construction, water, health and wellness, food, and worker safety. DuPont has operated the Spruance Plant in Chesterfield County since 1929, where it currently produces Kevlar®, Nomex®, and Tyvek®.

DuPont is one of the largest employers in Chesterfield County and the Spruance site is the company’s single largest manufacturing site, employing more than 2,000 people. DuPont recently celebrated its 90th anniversary of operating and providing Richmond-area residents with competitive paying jobs for a broad range of skill sets and experience levels.

“We are so appreciative of DuPont’s presence in Chesterfield County for the past 90 years,” said Chair of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors Leslie Haley. “We are excited that they continue to invest in and grow their Spruance facility. DuPont is a valued community partner and we congratulate them on celebrating 90 years of successful operations here in Chesterfield County.”

“It is always positive for the state’s economy when a business like DuPont decides to expand its presence in Virginia,” said John Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “It is satisfying to learn that part of the decision to reinvest in the Commonwealth came as a result of the positive long-term relationship that exists between the port and DuPont, as well as the incentives provided to the company through The Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program and the Virginia Port Tax Credits. We are looking forward to many more years of serving as the international trade gateway for DuPont.”

“DuPont has been a valuable corporate partner and employer in Chesterfield County for nearly 90 years, and we are proud to see this innovative company continue to grow in our community,” said Del. Delores McQuinn. “The company’s willingness to continue investing in the Commonwealth’s growth and economy through this expansion will help to build community wealth.”

“DuPont continues to set the standard of innovation as it revolutionizes technology-based solutions, agricultural materials, and chemicals,” said Sen. Rosalyn Dance. “On behalf of the 16th Senatorial District, I would like to thank Gov. Northam, DuPont, the Port of Virginia, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership for this tremendous accomplishment. We are immensely grateful for Dupont’s commitment over the past 90 years to increasing job opportunities for Virginians.”

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The Hilb Group continues acquisitions with Rhode Island insurer

Henrico County-based insurance broker The Hilb Group LLC (THG) has acquired Rhode Island-based Wickford Insurance Agency Inc. (WIA) in a deal that closed on Dec. 1, THG announced.

WIA is a property and casualty insurance agency and its associates will join THG’s Rhode Island operations under the management of Chris Schneider and Derek Schneider.

THG has completed more than 60 acquisitions since 2015.

Read the full story here.

Henrico-based owner of Fas Mart to expand footprint via acquisition

Henrico County-based GPM Investments LLC, the parent company of the Fas Mart convenience store chain, has signed a deal to acquire the wholesale fuel distribution operations and retail locations of a Texas-based company.

GPM said Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Dallas-based Empire Petroleum Partners LLC.

The agreement, which GPM called a “transformational transaction,” will expand the company’s footprint.

The combined entity will distribute fuel to 2,800-plus locations in 33 states and Washington, D.C. Empire currently supplies 1,400-plus gas stations and convenience stores.

Read the full story here.

Richmond startup Warehowz now has 500 locations in its network

Warehouse space is a vital part of the consumer economy, and one Richmond-based startup is at the forefront of an innovation trend in the warehousing market.

The startup Warehowz is seeing rapid growth with its online platform that serves as a marketplace for on-demand leasing of warehouse space.

The company, founded by Richmond-area entrepreneurs Darrell Jervey and Nick Bawa, links warehouse owners that have available space with companies that are looking for short-term contracts to lease space.

The company has grown to have more than 500 warehouses nationwide in its network, with more being added regularly. Companies can sign up to use the platform at

Read the full story here.