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News | 4 min read

Business assistance program supports creation of 1,251 jobs

October 2, 2012

Richmond, VA (October 1, 2012) – The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. today released the annual report for Business First Greater Richmond, a program that supports the growth and retention of existing businesses.  Business First partners responded to 85 specific requests for business assistance and supported the creation of $75.8 million in new capital investment and 1,251 new jobs. The program is managed and executed at the local level by the economic development offices in Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the City of Richmond.

The 2011-2012 annual report is based on more than 570 face-to-face interviews Richmond area company owners and CEOs representing in excess 21,000 jobs in the region. 

Findings from the interviews include:

  • 36% of respondents plan to add additional employees over the next 12-month period, adding nearly 995 new jobs.
  • Industries reporting significant employment growth in the coming year include Professional Business Services (variety of occupations), Healthcare, and Transportation and Warehousing.
  • 73% rate workforce quality as good or excellent, and fewer than 20% indicated problems recruiting. One in three business leaders indicated that they added staff in the previous year, an important trend and indicative of a more sustained, job-filled recovery for the region.
  • 81% of businesses are projecting sales growth in the coming year, of which 40% report that they expect double-digit sales growth during that same period.
  • 81% believe they will see an improvement in the local business climate over the next five years.
  • 28% of businesses have plans to expand their physical space, requiring in excess of 750,000 square feet of commercial space to accommodate their growth.

Sara Dunnigan, senior vice president of Existing Business Services and Talent Development of the Greater Richmond Partnership, supports the program at the regional level. “Our local government partners have made a commitment to support existing businesses in their community.  This work compliments the work they do to attract new firms to the region and support entrepreneurship locally. A strong group of resource partners and committed volunteers round out the team and make this one of the most collaborative programs in the country.”

Since its launch in 2006, Business First Greater Richmond has helped support area businesses in the creation 3,200 new jobs, $348 million in new capital investment, and the helped preserve more than 3,100 jobs.

For the full text of the Business First Greater Richmond annual report, visit:

Business First Greater Richmond, is collaborative regional initiative supported by the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc, the City of Richmond, the Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico.  It is also supported by more than 80 business volunteers and other agencies in the region committed to the growth and retention of area businesses.  Business First Greater has been recognized by the International Economic Development Council and is a Virginia Chamber Torchbearer Award recipient recognizing the program’s creative and significant contributions to economic development in the 7th Congressional District. For more information or to schedule a company visit, please visit:

Business First RSS feed:

The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. was launched in 1994 as a pioneering regional public-private initiative to serve as the regional economic development group for the City of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico. The mission is to help grow the Greater Richmond economy through the attraction of high quality jobs and new capital investment, the retention of existing businesses, and the continued improvement of the region's business climate. Since inception, the Partnership has played a key role in the attraction of more than $7.8 billion in investment by more than 424 new and expanding companies. This is a return on investment of $161 for every $1 in funding provided by public and private partners since 1994. For more information, please visit


Media contact: Sara Dunnigan
Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.
Phone: (804) 343-6968
Email: [email protected]