Virginia consistently receives top rankings for its business climate from sources such as Forbes.com, Pollina Corporate Real Estate and CNBC. If you are interested in expanding or moving to Virginia, your first resource should be the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. You can reach it through its website, http://www.yesvirginia.org, or by phone at (804) 545-5700.
When you call, VEDP staff will listen to your needs and assign an investment manager to you. The investment manager, or concierge, will discuss your business needs in depth. “We ask a lot of questions about what’s important to you when you determine where you want to grow your business,” says Liz Povar, director of business development for VEDP.
The investment manager will gather applicable information from local and regional economic development partners and state agencies and present a site study or comprehensive package to the client.
The partnership’s website also features Virginia SCAN (virginiascan.yesvirginia.org), a searchable real estate database with thousands of properties that allows the partnership to connect available properties with businesses’ needs.
What industries are hot in Virginia?
The partnership has targeted three major industries for investment, including energy, information technology and advanced manufacturing. The state also is developing a strong life-sciences strategy, says Povar.
Energy companies currently are generating the most heat. “Energy by far in the last 18 months has been the hottest, and much of that has been driven by the fact that the federal government has loan programs that are putting into new energy technologies.”
See “Green” businesses for information on starting an energy-related company in Virginia.
The partnership also is seeing increased interest from businesses interested in offshore wind potential — especially after Google announced plans to invest in an offshore transmission line for wind energy that would reach Virginia.
The weak economy took its toll on activity from advanced manufacturers, but Povar says that seems to be changing. “It’s been slow, but the pipeline is moving again.”
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