Letter from the publisher: Big impact
It’s nearly impossible to overstate the positive role that Hampton Roads plays in Virginia’s economic health. The region doesn’t fit neatly into a single name, location or brand. Is it coastal, is it the beach or is it the Port of Virginia? Is its economy mostly maritime, mostly military, mostly manufacturing, mostly international trade, or mostly higher education and high tech? All these descriptions fit, and that’s why the region has such a big impact.
No other region of Virginia reaches across the commonwealth or even the globe like Hampton Roads. Ships, trucks, trains and even planes send millions of cargo containers to storage and distribution centers worldwide. Transportation and logistics are big business.
2021 has been a comeback year for virtually all these sectors, and the region shows promising signs for growth. Wind energy is getting closer than just something on the horizon. The Port of Virginia has new leadership. Shipbuilding and repair are on the rise. And tourism was back to pre-pandemic levels in Virginia Beach this summer. Of course, at the same time the region still faces ongoing challenges such as sea-level rise, workforce training and the perennial problem of traffic jams.
Welcome to the 2021 issue of Hampton Roads Business. We hope that you will find it interesting and informative. Our goal is to help you understand the area’s economy and connect you to the businesses that drive this vibrant, exciting and important region.
— Bernie Niemeier, President & Publisher