Why Greater Richmond?
As a business location, Richmond is one of the finest on the East coast. That’s why 10 Fortune 1000 companies have their headquarters in Greater Richmond and Richmond was voted the Best Small American City of the Future. It also ranked as the third Top Small Cities FDI Strategy and fifth overall for Small Cities Business Friendliness in Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Magazine’s North American Cities of the Future 2011/12, April 2011.
Companies have found Virginia and particularly Greater Richmond to be extraordinarily business friendly for over 400 years. Forbes.com named Virginia the “Best State for Business” four years in succession and second in 2010. Virginia was named America’s “Top State for Business” in 2011, 2009 and 2007, according to CNBC.com, and ranked second in 2008 and 2010.
Virginia and in turn Richmond are good for business. Virginia is a pro-business state with supportive tax and regulatory systems. Corporate income tax has been 6% since 1972. Sales and use tax is the eighth lowest rate in the nation at 5%. Individual income tax is:
- 2% on the first $3,000
- 3% on the next $2,000
- 5% on the next $12,000
- 5.75% over $17,000.
Virginia is also a “Right to Work” state with low levels of unionization and union election activity. Wages are moderate in the metro area and Virginia has the fourth lowest cost of workers’ compensation for both manufacturing and office/clerical operations in the USA.
Greater Richmond offers an array of excellent educational resources. There are 10 universities and colleges with more than 69,000 students. More than 10,000 degrees are conferred annually, principally in the fields of business, engineering, law and medicine. Many of Richmond’s graduates stay in the area. Indeed educational attainment levels show that 30.6% of metro area residents are college graduates. Key universities include:
There are also a wide range of primary and secondary public and private schools, including those that offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
Overseas businesses are encouraged to locate in Greater Richmond. Incentives include:
- State of the art telecommunications
- Foreign trade zones and enterprise zones offering tax and financing incentives
- Financing for small businesses
- Energy rate options from Dominion Power
In addition, businesses looking to invest in Greater Richmond will find:
- A highly productive and educated workforce
- A moderation cost of living with an excellent transport system and minimal traffic congestion
- Prepared sites and buildings in more than 150 office and industrial parks
- Incubator facilities for small and start up technology businesses
- A 34-acre downtown bioscience park (www.vabiotech.com) with international life sciences businesses in research and production
From a transportation perspective, Greater Richmond is very well connected:
- Roads (including four major interstates) and rail intersect Richmond. Greater Richmond’s average commute time is 24 minutes.
- Richmond International Airport (RIC) is a modern, easy-to-use facility serving over three million travelers each year via eight major carrier groups, including both comprehensive network and low-cost airlines. The airport’s route map is well-connected to major eastern U.S. population centers and to international gateway airports for all major alliances.
- Visitors also have the option of Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), located approximately two hours away via I-95.
- Barge service is available between Norfolk International Terminal and the Port of Richmond via 64 Express Barge Service.
- Quality of life is outstanding. A wide range of housing styles and costs are available, medical facilities are excellent including nationally rated teaching hospital and the area is steeped in 400 years of history.
Finally, Richmond also has numerous cultural and recreational opportunities including a variety of museums and galleries. The performing arts are represented by the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Ballet and Virginia Opera. Additionally, numerous sporting facilities including American football, soccer, baseball, ice hockey and NASCAR racing – not forgetting 27 public golf courses and more than 100 public parks.
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Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.
901 E. Byrd St., Suite 801
Richmond, VA, USA 23219