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News | 2 min read

Business First program launches new website with annual results

September 22, 2015

RICHMOND, VA – Business First Greater Richmond, the region’s business retention and expansion program, announces the results of its work for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, including a rebrand and launch of its new website.

Over the course of last year’s efforts by local economic development officials and a base of community volunteers, the program accomplished the following:

  • More than 700 companies contacted, representing over 11,600 existing jobs
  • 68 companies plan an expansion with the potential of $36.8 million in new capital investment
  • 31 firms plan to hire more employees this year, projecting more than 360 new jobs
  • 150 local businesses were assisted, creating 420 new jobs and $53 million in new investment

“Of the companies we’ve surveyed, they’re telling us that their business is growing,” said Grace Festa, program coordinator of Business First Greater Richmond and Business Development Manager at the Greater Richmond Partnership. “Sixty-seven percent have seen increasing sales over the last two years, but there’s still a hesitancy to not spend their profit on expansions.”

The program, based partially on volunteerism from local citizens, relaunched a streamlined website over the summer. Its new tone and logo reflect the Partnership’s award-winning brand developed by PadillaCRT. A one-minute explainer video for the website was also produced.

“We wanted to explain what the Business First program is and how it can assist the local business community, but in a fun, modern way,” said Festa. “We want to make sure that if a business is unaware of our services, that they can understand how we can impact their bottom line.”

The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. was launched in 1994 as a pioneering public-private initiative to serve as the regional economic development group for the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico. Over the course of 21 years, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has assisted more than 465 companies that have invested $10.8 billion in capital investment in the Richmond Region. For more information, please visit

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