Virginia Beach SWaM Business Forum to Focus on Health Care

Thursday, August 31, 2017

​The City of Virginia Beach will hold the 2017 Small, Women-owned and Minority-owned (SWaM) Business Forum on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts, 201 Market St. Lunch will be served.

The free SWaM Business Forum is an initiative designed to provide resources to the small business community and identify business opportunities beyond the federal and municipal sectors. This year's forum will focus on supplier diversity efforts within the health care industry, which has an impact throughout the community. Sentara Healthcare systems, Bon Secours, Duke Medical, North Carolina Health Care Systems and Owens-Minor are scheduled to participate.

For additional information about the forum or small business resources, contact Small Business Development Manager Jeff Smith with the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development at (757) 385-6464. Registration information is available online at

"Virginia Beach is home to 33 percent of all business startup activity in the region," said Director of Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development Warren D. Harris. "One of our key strategies is to grow our small business community and provide every resource available for success."

The SWaM Business Forum is one of several initiatives the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development has launched to grow and support small businesses within the city. Other initiatives include special programs and workshops, the business mentoring program with higher education partners, networking, resource identification and connections, consultation with the regional office of Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) free business counseling, online support about how to start a business and online Defense Business Center resources for information about how to do business with the government.

Students from the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Entrepreneurial Academy and Health Sciences Academy will also attend the Forum to gain insight to career opportunities and possible fields of studies.

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2016 and is one of only 50 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. Most recently, Virginia Beach was named America's #1 best big city to live in by For more information, visit

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