Business Attraction & Regional Marketing
Business services are provided to small and large companies that require office, manufacturing, research and distribution buildings and/or sites. The Partnership serves as a single point of contact to the network of private sector and state and local government professionals serving Central Virginia.
The Partnership’s business attraction efforts extend from North America to Europe and Asia. Direct marketing activities include trade shows, professional conferences, marketing missions, seminars, special events, and individual sales calls to qualified prospects.
The process begins with the preparation of custom research based on the company’s parameters and data requirements. This may include information on labor, transportation, markets, customers, suppliers, taxes, government regulations, and available incentives.
Tailored real estate surveys and reports are compiled for existing buildings for sale or for lease, as well as sites for the construction of new buildings.
Once a prospect visit to the area is confirmed, a staff member creates a structured itinerary that includes a community overview, travel to available sites and buildings, and schedules meetings with suppliers and professional service providers. Introductions to government officials and community leaders are arranged as appropriate. “Peer to Peer” meetings are offered with local business leaders to obtain their insights into conducting business in the area.
When a company selects a Richmond Region location, a series of services are offered, including public relations, relocation services for company employees, and ramp-up services such as employee recruitment are provided. As a new corporate citizen, the company then transitions into the Partnership’s existing business program, BusinessFirst Greater Richmond.
Virginia offers one of the best pro-business climates in the nation. It is no surprise that for several years, Virginia has led the nation in the Forbes.com and CNBC.com Best State for Business rankings.
Virginia and the Richmond Region have institutionalized many business incentives that benefit new and existing businesses, both in the short and long term. Incentives include financial assistance, infrastructure development grants, tax credits and exemptions, customized training and technical support programs.
- Customized recruiting and training incentives are provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, including New Jobs Program, Small Business New Jobs Program, and Workforce Retraining Program.
- The Workforce Investment Act provides federal funding for employment and training activities to enhance productivity and competitiveness. In Virginia, WIA is administered at the state level by the Virginia Community College System.
- Enterprise Zone program provides cash grants for new job creation and real property investment.
- Corporate tax credits are provided through:
- Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit
- Refundable Research and Development Expenses Tax Credit
- Major Research and Development Expenses Tax Credit
- Recyclable Materials Processing Equipment Tax Credit
- Work Retraining Tax Credit
- Green Job Tax Credit
- Port Volume Tax Credit
- International Trade Facility Tax Credit
- Barge and Rail Usage Tax Credit
- Other discretionary incentives include Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, Virginia Investment Partnership Grant, Major Eligible Employer Grant, Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant, Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, and Port of Virginia and Infrastructure Development Grant.
- Financing programs include industrial development bonds for manufacturing projects, incentive grants for targeted industries, and small business programs.
- Virginia also provides broad sales and use tax exemptions and a variety of real and personal property tax exemptions for businesses.
The Partnership’s support services include research, information, publications and other services. In addition to real estate information, the Partnership maintains information on critical business factors, including labor, education and training, transportation, utilities, taxes, incentives, area industries and business climate. Presentations tailored to a company’s specific needs and comparisons with other metropolitan areas and states can be provided. These services are provided at no cost to prospective businesses.
- Infrastructure improvement incentives including road access, utility extensions and connection costs, and off-site improvements will be negotiated by individual localities.
- Enterprise Zones in Henrico and the City of Richmond offer local tax and financing incentives in addition to the state’s Enterprise Zone incentives.
- Foreign Trade Zone #207 at Richmond International Airport provides space for storage, distribution, and light assembly operations. Imported goods held in the zone are not subject to U.S. Customs duties until they leave the zone and enter the U.S. for domestic consumption. Duties are not paid on broken or wasted product or on exported items.
- Financing for small businesses is available through the Crater Development Company, Virginia Small Business Financing Authority, and other firms.
- Dominion Energy offers a variety of rate options that may lower operating costs for commercial and industrial users.
- The Business Expansion Incentive Fund (BEIF) is available through the Chesterfield County Economic Development Department and was established to secure job-creating economic development opportunities through the preservation and expansion of existing business in Chesterfield County. BEIF assistance may be in the form of a low-interest loan or a grant.
- The Defense Production Zone legislation allows a locality to establish a defense production zone. A qualified Defense Production Business is engaged in the design, development, or production of materials, components, or equipment required to meet the needs of national defense. Each locality that establishes a Defense Production Zone may grant incentives and/or provide certain regulatory flexibility in the established zone. Incentives may be provided for up to 20 years and may include reduction of permit fees, user fees, and any type of gross receipts tax.
Workforce Recruitment Services
The Greater Richmond Partnership has developed a variety of services to assist new corporate citizens relocating to the region and to facilitate the start-up process. Relocation services are available through the Greater Richmond Partnership in cooperation with local businesses. The Partnership can provide a wide variety of community information including print publications and maps. The Partnership also can coordinate employment assistance through local staffing agencies and the Virginia Employment Commission. Based on company requirements, services may include:
Recruitment of mission-critical technical and professional employees
The Partnership can assist in the recruitment of professional and engineering employees using email, websites, participation at trade shows and conferences, and other avenues as identified. One tool that the Partnership has developed includes a website, LoveWhatYouFind.com, which was designed to attract and inform businesses, workers and families considering a move to the Richmond Region for employment.
Welcome receptions for new recruits and transferees
The Partnership can host welcome receptions and peer-to-peer meetings for new and relocating company personnel to introduce them to the Richmond business community. If requested, the Partnership is prepared to provide multiple copies of a wide range of community and housing information and maps for those who may be relocating.
Business Retention & Expansion
Business retention and expansion is a collaborative effort between GRP and our four local government partners that focuses resources, services and support on companies that already call the Richmond Region home. Professional development staff and trained volunteers from the business community interview CEOs and other top company officials to fully understand the company and the factors critical to its long-term success.
Companies touched by the program receive a high level of customer service and access to a wide variety of resources, dictated by the company’s unique needs.
This customer-focused approach delivers value by quickly connecting companies to the resources they need and removes barriers to business growth. Information gained through the program is used to make Greater Richmond an even better place to do business.