Some Richmond-area businesses planning to hire

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About one quarter of businesses recently interviewed in the Richmond area said they plan to hire new employees in the next 12 months.

The Greater Richmond Partnership Inc., an economic development marketing arm for the region, said the hiring plans would create nearly 1,388 new jobs.

The findings were part of a report on Business First Greater Richmond, a regional business retention program. Economic development professionals and business volunteers held face-to-face interviews with 533 business owners and CEOs in the Richmond area.

About 19 percent of the companies, 101, said they plan to expand in the next 18 months. These companies expect to need a total of 300,000 square feet of space.

Despite the recession, 37 percent of the businesses said they have increased sales in the past year and 73 percent expect sales growth of 1 to 9 percent in the next year.

While 132 companies said they plan to hire new employees, another 24 percent said they plan cut staff, putting 186 jobs at risk.

The biggest job growth expected from the interviews are in manufacturing and in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector. Job losses were projected in real estate, rental and leasing, and accommodations and food services.

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