August 2023

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Monthly News from Hampton Roads

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Note from the President

Doug Smith, Alliance President & CEO

Summer is ending, and here at the Hampton Roads Alliance, our recent focus has been on engaging with site consultants. Site selectors help corporations decide where to open new operations, so having stronger relationships forged across the country is a forced multiplier for future new business announcements.

Our focus started with our involvement and participation in the Virginia Consultants Forum, hosted at the Cavalier in Virginia Beach from May 15-17, 2023. The event was sponsored by Team Virginia, a partnership between the Virginia Chamber Foundation and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), and the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA). It provided a fantastic platform for networking and knowledge exchange and zeroed in on how site selection in 2023 offers unique challenges – site availability, labor, and energy, among others. 

On August 12, the Alliance hosted a suite at Colonial Downs for the Arlington Million Race, where the Governor along with State and Regional leadership gathered for an evening of camaraderie. This provided a wonderful pre-event opportunity ahead of the Southeastern Economic Development Council Annual Meeting held in Williamsburg from August 13-15, 2023. It was a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our connections on the Peninsula and foster collaboration among economic development professionals.

Next month, the Hampton Roads Alliance and the Port of Virginia are hosting a networking event in Atlanta with site selectors and national corporate real estate executives. This event, tailored to Port users and site selectors, promises to be an excellent occasion to build meaningful relationships and explore potential partnerships. In addition, we have multiple call trips planned with our localities to attend conferences and trade shows. 

We are also excited to announce that the national Area Development Spring Consultants Forum will be held at the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront from June 10-12, 2024. This highly anticipated event, organized by Area Development, will bring together the nation's top site selection consultants and economic development professionals for three days of networking and knowledge sharing. This is the first time this event will have ever been in Hampton Roads and will draw leading site selectors from across America to our region, allowing us to showcase our region’s unique assets.

As we move into the Fall, our commitment to connecting the region in order to advance our competitive strengths to grow and support development in Hampton Roads remains unwavering. We look forward to further collaboration and success in the coming months.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership.


Your ally in economic development,

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Booz Allen Expands Norfolk Footprint With New Shared Services Delivery Hub

Global technology and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton recently reaffirmed its investment in Norfolk, building on more than 25 years in the Hampton Roads area with a continued commitment to regional growth and positive community impact. Booz Allen, which has 32,600+ employees worldwide, has had a presence in Norfolk since 1996 and today employs more than 1,000 people in the Hampton Roads area. Now, the company is establishing a Business Services center in Norfolk and bringing new growth opportunities.

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Virginia Offshore Wind Supplier Development Grant

The Virginia Offshore Wind Supplier Development Grant (VOWSD) encourages existing Virginia companies to enter the offshore wind supply chain. The program targets existing manufacturers or manufacturing-adjacent companies who have operated in Virginia for at least one year and have under 250 full-time employees.

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Commercial Corridor Program

In Fall of 2022 the Pilot Phase of the Commercial Corridor Program was announced. The goal of the Commercial Corridor Program is to revitalize and grow the City’s main streets and neighborhoods by addressing specific areas and their needs, assisting small businesses with commercial real estate technical assistance, and funding provided by the City through state and federal grants.

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Dan Bell, Advocate for Hampton Roads Tech Sector and Startup Community, Dies at 70

Dan Bell was among Hampton Roads’ biggest cheerleaders. The leader, visionary and vice chairman of nonprofit Innovate Hampton Roads died on Aug. 18. He was 70 years old. Paul Hirschbiel, chairman of Innovate Hampton Roads, called Bell “the center of our universe” in terms of the region’s technology and innovation ecosystem.

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21 Hampton Roads Independent Businesses Make National Fastest-Growing List

This year, 21 companies in Hampton Roads made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing independent businesses. The number of regional businesses on the list grew from 17 last year. The list, released in August, names 275 companies in Virginia, an increase from 258 last year. Congratulations to Alliance investors The Breeden Co. and TechArk Solutions!

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SeaGate Terminals, LLC Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Solar-Powered Multi-use Building in Chesapeake, VA

Dulany Industries, Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary SeaGate Terminals, LLC — a premier warehouse and logistics provider with locations in Savannah, Ga. and Chesapeake, VA — recently broke ground on a solar-powered multi-use building at the company’s Chesapeake, VA location.

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Inside Business Recognizes the Top Workplaces of 2023

Great workplaces aren’t created by accident. They are built and nurtured. The Top Workplaces awards recognize the employers that do it well in the eyes of their employees. This is the fifth year Energage, an employee survey company based in Exton, Pennsylvania, has identified exceptional workplaces in the Hampton Roads region. Congratulations to these Alliance investors that made the list: Virginia Natural Gas, Chartway Credit Union, Kaufman & Canoles, and S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co.!

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Virginia 500 2023

The fourth annual Virginia 500 by Virginia Business is here! We are thrilled to see Doug Smith, Alliance President & CEO, recognized as one of the Commonwealth's leading economic development professionals. Dozens of representatives from Alliance investors and partners were recognized as well!

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State and City Representatives Meet with Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America's Leadership Team to Discuss Future Growth Opportunities

Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Caren Merrick, and Deputy Secretary of Commerce & Trade, Nicole Riley, along with representatives from Chesapeake Economic Development and the Hampton Roads Alliance, paid a visit to Sumitomo Drive Technologies, the brand of Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America (SMA), a leader in the industrial manufacturing of premium quality gearboxes, motors, and controls.

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Lego Store Coming to Virginia Beach Town Center

A new Lego Store is coming to Town Center of Virginia Beach this fall, the company announced. Opening in November, the 3,170-square-foot retail space will be located at 172 Central Park Ave. and will feature in-store play experiences, free build challenges and monthly events, according to a news release. The company said members of the Lego VIP loyalty program can receive benefits at the new location, including gifts and points.

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Hampton Roads Leaders Study Workforce Readiness in Germany

The Hampton Roads Alliance, Hampton Roads Workforce Council, and Virginia Beach Economic Development hosted presidents and officials of universities, community colleges and technical colleges from Hampton Roads on a visit in July to Stuttgart, Germany — visiting with educational, business and political leaders in the area.  An HRA and HRWC joint news release noted that the delegation, which included Hampton Roads mayors and business leaders, explored Germany’s dual-track vocational education and training (VET) program, a national workforce development pipeline.

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Proposal Calls for Entertainment Venue Next to Williamsburg Sports Complex

The company that is seeking to build a sports complex in Williamsburg also wants to complete a smaller entertainment venue nearby. Earlier this summer before the Tourism Development Grant Review Committee, MEB General Contractors of Virginia Beach proposed a 53,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor multipurpose performance venue that would cost approximately $33 million.

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Lidl Headed to Lamberts Point Development Near ODU in Norfolk

A new development is bringing another grocery store option to Lamberts Point and the area near Old Dominion University.

Discount grocer Lidl is coming to the Railyard at Lambert’s Point, a developer said. Rich Meredith with Meredith Construction said his company signed a deal with the Germany-based grocer last week.

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TechArk Solutions Named an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Company For Third Year

TechArk Solutions has been named a Fastest-Growing Private Company by Inc. 5000 for the third year in a row. As a digital marketing and software development company, earning this honor for three consecutive years is remarkable. TechArk is also one of four Norfolk-based companies to make this year’s list, rising 1668 slots to 2844 since first landing on the list in 2021.

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Clancy & Theys’ Hampton Virginia Aquaplex Project Earns Two National Awards

Clancy & Theys Construction Company’s Hampton Virginia Aquaplex project recently received national recognition for its excellence in design and construction. The design-build project, which opened last October in Hampton, Virginia, won a National Award of Merit in the Civic/Assembly category from the Design-Build Institute of America and an Award of Merit in the Sports/Entertainment category from ENR MidAtlantic. The project team will be honored for their exceptional work at award ceremonies later this fall.

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ODU Could Get Financial Boost for Veteran Small Business Program

Virginia U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced they have secured $500,000 for ODU to launch a program to help veteran entrepreneurial businesses. In a joint statement to 13News Now, Warner and Kaine said: “Veterans have made countless sacrifices and immeasurable contributions to communities across the Commonwealth, and we are grateful to them for supporting their causes.”

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Portsmouth Economic Development is Hiring

Portsmouth Economic Development is hiring for an Administrative Coordinator II and a Business Development Manager! If you're ready to join a dynamic team and passionate about helping the business community in Portsmouth, submit your application online. 

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Commonwealth Conversations with Jason El Koubi

Commonwealth Conversations is a 5-part Chamber speaker series that will be held every other month. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the Series Sponsor, and the President of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Cliff Fleet, will lead in-depth discussions with trailblazers and thought leaders of our time.

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2023 VEDA Fall Conference

Portsmouth and the Hampton Roads region are excited to be hosting the 2023 Fall Conference for VEDA members and guests. The organizing committee is diligently working on finalizing the conference details, ensuring that participants can expect the same exceptional caliber of high-level speakers and relevant content that VEDA consistently delivers. Scheduled for September, the Fall Conference will center around the 2023 VEDA theme,

Maximize Potential. Accelerate Results!


2023 Workforce Innovation Awards

Across every industry in Hampton Roads, local firms and their leaders have focused on innovation and resilience to survive and to thrive throughout the pandemic.

In 2023, these organizations, including industry, nonprofit, and education stakeholders, are helping create dynamic workforce development solutions for the residents and firms of Hampton Roads.

Please join the Hampton Roads Workforce Council on September 21st in recognizing and celebrating the ingenuity and commitment of these partners in their pursuit of inclusive workforce development and economic growth in Hampton Roads.



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HRPDC Economic Monthly

Each month, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) provides economic insights and informative articles to connect you with what changes are occurring in the local economy.

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Amy Parkhurst

Senior Vice President, Business Development

As senior management for the region’s lead economic marketing organization, Amy works to promote Virginia’s Hampton Roads as the perfect location for capital investment and business expansion. Her responsibilities include: planning and implementing an aggressive schedule of corporate appointments with C-level executives and consultants; acting as initial point of contact for expanding and relocating businesses; facilitating the investigation of the region as a viable location alternative; and making formal presentations to clients and key organizational investors.

Prior to joining the Alliance in 1998, Amy worked as the marketing director for a local homebuilding company and as a project manager with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she managed real estate transactions for the Brooklyn Army Terminal, a 2.6 million square foot industrial complex with over 50 tenants.

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Amy is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She earned her MBA in Marketing and Management from Columbia University’s School of Business. Amy is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and has earned the professional designation of Certified Economic Developer. She is active in several professional organizations including the International Economic Development Council, the Virginia Economic Developers Association and the Hampton Roads Association of Commercial Real Estate. Amy also serves on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Advisory Committee on Business Development and Marketing.

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