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News | 3 min read

GRP Receive Prestigious Torchbearer Award from State Chamber

December 7, 2010


Torchbearer Award for the Seventh Congressional District from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce was awarded to the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. with the City of Richmond and counties of Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield for BusinessFirst Greater Richmond, a business retention and expansion program. 

The Torchbearer award was presented at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Summit, “Preparing for a Brighter Future,” held on December 2, 2010 in Williamsburg at the

Kingsmill Resort and attended by more than 450 people. The awards showcased the accomplishments and outstanding contributions that best exemplify the excellence that has made the Commonwealth the number one state in the nation for business.

“It is such an honor to have BusinessFirst Greater Richmond recognized by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The team is committed to our region’s existing businesses and to ensuring they get the support they need for success.” said Gregory H. Wingfield, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.  Sara Dunnigan, senior vice president and BusinessFirst program manager added, “BusinessFirst is a true regional public-private initiative. It has supported the creation of 1,119 new jobs, the retention of 2,496 and more than $213 million in new capital investment since launching in the fall of 2006.”

BusinessFirst Greater Richmond was one of the first communities in Virginia to adopt a smart web-based data platform developed exclusively for economic development.  Since then, the Commonwealth has endorsed the same platform and supported the expansion of its use to other communities.

Companies interviewed through the BusinessFirst program represent more than 98,000 jobs in the region.  Since 2006, the program has helped to identify more than 600 firms with plans to create 6,000 new jobs. The outreach has also brought focus to more than 400 companies with plans to expand – representing opportunities with more than $265 million in planned new capital investment. 

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce sought nominations to identify the economic development organizations, local governments and educational institutions that have made a creative and significant contribution to Virginia’s economy in terms of facilitating new business attraction, business retention and expansion, the creation of new jobs, foreign investment and revitalization projects. More information:

BusinessFirst Greater Richmond is the business retention and expansion program supported by the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., in collaboration with the economic development offices of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the City of Richmond. 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.  For more information or to schedule a company visit, please visit:  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 $7.3 billion in investment by 395 new and expanding companies. This is a return on investment of $164 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]