Beautiful Gloucester County is centrally positioned between the major metro areas of Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Washington, DC. The labor force of 20,000 workers includes college students, military spouses, and retiring military personnel.
Gloucester strives to be a community “open for business” with a welcoming and positive business-friendly attitude. The mission of the Gloucester Economic Development is to promote and improve the economic health and quality of life in Gloucester. The main goals of their department are to create jobs, support the local industry base, and lower vacancy rates while increasing tax revenue and property values. They administer Small Business Incentives granted by the EDA for property and façade improvements, e-commerce, and advertising, work directly with prospective businesses and with the state agency VEDP to maintain a database of available commercial sites.
Many partner organizations collaborate to encourage sustainable development in the region. To support entrepreneurs and small businesses there is free business consulting, the educational Home-Based Business Lunch & Learn series, and promotion via press and our monthly newsletter. The Gloucester Business Directory encourages shopping local.
Gloucester Economic Development is always working to recruit and maintain millennials in the county. “Through events like the Gloucester Job Fair and programs like the Gloucester Cooperative Education Partnership internships we are developing our young workforce, and we continue to share Gloucester’s opportunities and great quality of life through social media.”
In 1996, Canon chose to build Canon Environmental Technologies, Inc (CETI) in the Gloucester Business Park. This cutting-edge facility recycles cartridges from all over North America with zero waste—and provides 144 skilled full-time jobs. This proved to be a great boost for Gloucester, and just another one of their success stories.
Sherry Spring, Director, is proud of their success. “Presently, we are thrilled at the success of our new Small Business Incentive Program. In four years we were awarded 149 grants in the amount of $245,617, paired with $6,213,747 in private investment from new and expanding businesses. This has been a successful economic driver and marketing tool for the county.”
In the future, Economic Development hopes to support entrepreneurial growth as they prepare to launch a new set of incentives, the Home-Based Business Transition Program. These incentives will support business owners growing from home-based to brick-and-mortar.
“We try to connect with our community through hundreds of local business visits per year! We also work with the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce to present the Business Quarterly Breakfast, and host other Business Appreciation and educational events. Our monthly newsletter has 2,000 subscribers and welcomes tips about new and innovative businesses and encourages small businesses to share their “help wanted” ads to be published in the newsletter.” v
Contact Sherry Spring, Director or Elizabeth Ripley, Economic Development Coordinator
6467 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Gloucester, VA 23061 Tel: (804) 693-1414