QUESTION: Is Economic Development a Separate Entity from the City?

​ANSWER: No, Economic Development (ED) is a City department that serves the residents of Virginia Beach, just like Parks & Recreation, Libraries, Public Utilities or any other department of our municipal government.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ED's mission is to grow the local economy through job creation and investments in our community. ED does this by focusing on three groups of businesses:

  • Attract new businesses to Virginia Beach and establish operations
  • Retain and expand existing businesses
  • Create and foster small businesses and the entrepreneurial community

Staff is especially focused on attracting small, woman-owned and minority-owned businesses (SWaM) and businesses in the fields of advanced manufacturing, biomedical science, corporate headquarters, information services, defense, maritime and logistics, professional services, retail and tourism.

People can tap into a range of resources offered by ED to advance their businesses. These services are offered at no cost to local businesses or anyone looking to start one in Virginia Beach. Some of the services offered include:

  • Site selection
  • Market information
  • Financial guidance
  • Business license assistance
  • Workforce development
  • Mentorship programs
  • Small business workshops
  • Networking opportunities
  • Connect businesses with state and local tax incentives or grants

By connecting entrepreneurs and business-owners with these resources, ED is able to help them navigate through the process of taking their business to the next level – be it through expansion or creating a new one from the ground up. In turn, this investment means more businesses in our community, and more jobs to go with them.

Sometimes the investment is through business counseling, and other times there's a financial component involved. Certainly, the Economic Development Investment Program (EDIP) is often the most talked about local program, but it's hardly the first of its kind. In fact, the EDIP is often used to match a similar program operated at the state level. It's important to keep in mind that the program is funded entirely by a portion of the cigarette tax, 16 cents of the total 75 cents, and not through the general fund.

For more information about the Department of Economic Development, or to connect with any of the resources available to local businesses, please visit the department's website, or give them a call at 385-6464

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