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Hanover’s Perspective

BusinessFirst Program Recognized by Virginia Chamber

The Torchbearer Award for the Seventh Congressional District from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce was awarded to the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. with the City of Richmond and counties of Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield for BusinessFirst Greater Richmond , a business retention and expansion program.

The Torchbearer Award was presented at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce's Economic Summit, “Preparing for a Brighter Future,” held on Dec. 2, 2010 in Williamsburg at the Kingsmill Resort. The Awards showcased the accomplishments and outstanding contributions that best exemplify the excellence that has made the Commonwealth the number one state in the nation for business.

“It is such an honor to have BusinessFirst Greater Richmond recognized by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The team is committed to our region's existing businesses and to ensuring they get the support they need for success.” said Gregory H. Wingfield, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. Sara Dunnigan , senior vice president and BusinessFirst program manager added, “BusinessFirst is a true regional public-private initiative. It has supported the creation of 1,119 new jobs, the retention of 2,496 and more than $213 million in new capital investment since launching in the fall of 2006.”

BusinessFirst Greater Richmond was one of the first communities in Virginia to adopt a smart web-based data platform developed exclusively for economic development. Since then, the Commonwealth has endorsed the same platform and supported the expansion of its use to other communities.

Companies interviewed through the BusinessFirst program represent more than 98,000 jobs in the region. Since 2006, the program has helped to identify more than 600 firms with plans to create 6,000 new jobs. The outreach has also brought focus to more than 400 companies with plans to expand – representing opportunities with more than $265 million in planned new capital investment.

BusinessFirst Greater Richmond is the business retention and expansion program supported by the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., in collaboration with the economic development offices of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the City of Richmond. It is also supported by more than 80 business volunteers and other agencies in the region committed to the growth and retention of area businesses.