Virginia Empowerment Zone

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VA empowerment zone booklet to attract small business owners to the area

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Virginia Empowerment Zone

  1. 1. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Welcome Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together Welcome Success awaits you in shopping malls, sight-seeing tours, cruises, the opera and more. the nation’s 33rd largest metro area: Norfolk and A cruise port, waterways, recreational marinas and Portsmouth, in the Hampton miles of beautiful beaches surround what USA Today Roads region of Virginia. calls one of “America’s Top Ten Booming Downtowns”1 for residential growth in the U.S. Here you will find a superior quality of life, Major revitalization beckons new business to Norfolk where Old Southern charm and Portsmouth, in a region that has one of the meets the promise of a highest percentages of businesses owned by blacks modern-day metropolis. (7%). A skilled labor pool, tax incentives, and major 2 Norfolk and Portsmouth housing initiatives encourage growth and expansion offer a breathtaking well into the future. shoreline view and unparalleled lifestyle attractions, providing year- It’s an irresistible place for so many reasons. We round entertainment, mild temperatures, fine encourage you to read on, learn the facts about restaurants, museums, semi-professional sports, Norfolk and Portsmouth, then join us! Hampton Roads is one of the leading metropolitan areas in the nation in the proportion of businesses owned by blacks. Based on reported findings from U.S. Census comparisons 1990 vs. 2000 1 ACCRA, 2nd Qtr. 2003 2 City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  2. 2. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA About Us Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together About Us According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the Norfolk/ One of the top 10 best U.S. Portsmouth market is one of the “Top 10 Best U.S. Cities for Entrepreneurs Cities for Entrepreneurs.” Strategically located at the epicenter of Virginia’s most heavily populated — Entrepreneur Magazine region, these cities are an incubator for business, In the past five years, Downtown Norfolk property medical, educational and assessed value has increased over 75%. This cultural growth. renaissance is the result of over thirty years of public- Economic development private partnerships. Norfolk’s new benchmarks for initiatives are focused on private investment during this period include $70 attracting, retaining and million in office development, $100 million in expanding businesses, as residential, $80 million in retail and restaurants, and well as revitalizing $87 million in hotels. neighborhoods and communities. These initiatives provide a structure for development and redevelopment. According to Diversity Inc., faster-growing cities, primarily those in the West and South, are more diverse. The Census Bureau reported that Norfolk is one of the five most integrated urban areas in the nation. A city of some 234,000 residents and more than 100 ethnically diverse neighborhoods, Norfolk is the cultural, educational, business and medical center of Hampton Roads. It hosts the region’s international airport, and is one of the busiest international seaports on the East Coast of the United States. With some 100,000 residents, Portsmouth is home to several major federal employers, including the U.S. Naval Medical Center, the oldest continuously operating hospital in the nation. The U.S. Census Bureau identified the predominately African American neighborhood of Cavalier Manor in Portsmouth as the most stable neighborhood in Virginia. Its streets are named for famous black performers. City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  3. 3. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Global Access Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together G l o b a l Ac c e s s As a global transportation hub, Norfolk and Portsmouth The Norfolk Naval Shipyard keep the goods moving! Norfolk International Airport is the largest operating achieved record-high traffic volume in 2002* — a year shipyard in the U.S. when, nationally, airport traffic fell 4.7 percent. The 17% increase was attributed to Southwest Airline’s addition of doubled from 2003. As a Norfolk to its service route; matter of fact, Norfolk’s and, in July, the opening of a tourism numbers increased new $133 million passenger across the board, counter to terminal. It is the 24th ranked the national trend. APM airport in the nation in terms Terminals, one of the of annual passenger growth. * world’s most successful container shipping An $800,000 renovation for Immigration and companies, recently Naturalization Services and Customs services was announced plans to build added to the airport to handle charters or diverted the first major privately flights of foreign origin. This is important for the cruise developed marine terminals industry, as charter flights originating outside the in the nation, on the United States for cruise passengers may disembark Elizabeth River in Portsmouth. This $450 million here, rather than at another domestic gateway for announcement is the largest economic development customs processing, prior to arriving in Norfolk. deal in Hampton Roads’ history. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard is one of the largest Port expansion — by 2010, a 300-acre expansion of operating shipyards in the U.S. The cruise market has Norfolk International Terminal (NIT) will be completed, remained strong and passenger counts for 2004 have making it the largest inter-modal center in the U.S. Strong growth in shipping, leading to more traffic at regional distribution centers, has increased business at the Port of Virginia. The port can serve the world’s largest ships (26 containers wide) — the trend of the future. As the South Terminal at NIT completes its renovation the 400th anniversary of the Virginia Port approaches. Our port, shipping industry and place in history will be showcased in 2007 as never before, culminating in a grand event by the American Association of Port Authorities, representing all of the ports in the Western Hemisphere. The port of Hampton Roads creates jobs, supplies businesses and generates income. The port of Virginia has a positive impact every day, in every corner of the state. * Based on 12-month period ending September 2004 vs. 12-month period ending September 2000. City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  4. 4. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Happenings Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together Happenings Festivals The African-American Festival (Af’ram For those who love the great outdoors and Fest) in Town Point Park, Norfolk, is held horticulture, there’s the Norfolk Botanical Garden. on Memorial Day weekend. Also catch Take lunch and commune among the azaleas, Portsmouth’s annual African- rhododendrons, tulips and blossoming fruit trees. American Heritage Trolley Tour There is nothing like the beauty of these in February. Gospelrama is a gardens to snap you back into the present two-day music festival that after a tour of Virginia’s historical and has sought to heighten racial military sites. understanding and promote Beaches unity since 1986.Towne Point musical weekends feature jazz, blues and reggae in August. Among some of the best beach parks in The Umoja Festival at Olde Towne Portsmouth’s Virginia are Community Beach, Sarah waterfront returns annually in September. Constant, and Ocean View, all located in Norfolk. The parks stretch along 7.5 miles of sun- Recreation drenched beachfront. They offer lifeguards between Norfolk and Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day, in addition to Portsmouth offer restrooms and showers. Picnic shelters provide shade many parks, camping and a place to eat on a first-come, first-served basis. grounds, lakes and Community pools are also available. marinas, golf courses, and Sports/Arenas cruise line tours, as well as the Virginia Zoological The Norfolk Scope Arena hosts a wide variety of Park (Norfolk) and Hoffler events: concerts, racing, ice shows, circuses, family Creek Wild Life Preserve shows, sports and other entertainment programs. (Portsmouth). Recreational The Ted Constant Center at Old Dominion University boating, with city docks is used for year-round concerts and basketball. adjacent to entertainment Other attractions include Portsmouth’s Invitational areas, exists in both cities. Tournaments (PIT), an NBA scouting event, the NTELOS Pavilion at Harbor Center offers outdoor Mariners, a professional soccer team, and Harbor entertainment by top-rated talent. Corporate box Park, home of the Norfolk Tides (the NY Mets’ AAA seating programs are also available at affordable rates. farm team). City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  5. 5. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Demographics Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together DEMOGRAPHICS More than 1.5 million people reside in the Hampton Roads region Portsmouth Norfolk 762 8,915 6,522 Asians 2,083 1,748 6,477 Other Hispanics Racial Mix 110,221 102,268 45,403 50,569 Whites Blacks Labor Force Portsmouth Norfolk Source: ERsys.com City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  6. 6. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Housing Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together Housing Experience the housing development renaissance Hampton Roads has in Portsmouth. With a new trend toward urban living, the most integrated the Myrtles at Olde Towne, a $20-million-dollar, 246-unit upscale apartment community resembling neighborhoods in English Basement-style homes, is scheduled for development near the downtown area. the nation A recent study by the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, revealed the region’s neighborhoods to be the most integrated in the nation. With more blacks and whites living next to each other on the same residential block, Hampton Roads has the most integrated neighborhoods in the nation (39%).* Each year, Homearama (an enclosed display of custom, decorated, furnished and landscaped single- family homes) showcases new homes in the Hampton Roads area. Homearama 2003 was held at The Estates at River Pointe, a new waterfront community in Portsmouth. In 2004, Homerama will be held in Norfolk’s East Beach community. The Cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth are undergoing a housing explosion as the Real Estate Assessor’s office administers a tax-abatement program to encourage homeowners to refurbish their homes. Norfolk has approximately 2000 housing units under development in downtown alone, plus an additional 2000 throughout the city. *Source: ODU Regional Studies Institute, 2003. City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  7. 7. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Workforce Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together Wo r k f o r c e Colleges and Universities Over 80,000 college students are enrolled in the area’s 12 colleges and universities, which include Hampton University and Norfolk State University — both historically black universities, Old Dominion University, The College of William and Mary, Christopher Newport University, Eastern VA Medical School, Regent University and Virginia Wesleyan College. Tidewater Community College is one of four community colleges. New and expanding businesses here enjoy a regional labor force of over 750,000 people. Employer-friendly Virginia offers “Right to Work” and “Employment at Will” labor structures. Business costs like Worker’s Compensation ($1.71 per $100 of payroll) and Unemployment Insurance (0.1% average as percent of wages) are some of the lowest in the nation. Remarkably, the area boasts a historically low unemployment rate, averaging 5.1%. Military Defense plays a major role in keeping the region’s Research Facilities economy strong. The Hampton Roads area is home to NASA Langley, It provides more Jefferson Labs, Applied Research, and Federal Research than 20,000 highly Laboratories. The Center for Bioelectrics at Fort Norfolk skilled individuals is a proprietary technology joint venture of Eastern to the workforce Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University. annually. Some 35,000 people work Workforce Development in the maritime or Opportunity Inc. is governed by the Hampton Roads distribution and Workforce Development Board. It helps raise per- logistics sectors. capita income, keeps qualified workers in the region Approximately and attracts new businesses to the area by offering 6,000 jobs are programs that strengthen relationships between created annually employers, training providers and employees. in this sector. City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  8. 8. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Business Incentives Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together Business Incentives Special programs offer business assistance through “Norfolk and Portsmouth local, state and federally designated districts in both one of the top 10 areas for cities. Empowerment, enterprise, foreign trade and HUB zones provide qualifying businesses a unique companies to expand.” competitive advantage, tax credits, contract preferential, and more. Norfolk-Portsmouth is one of the top 10 hottest areas — Expansion Management magazine. for companies to expand, according to Expansion Management magazine January 2003. It boasts an economy that is supported by a strong labor pool, tax incentives and a plethora of commercial retail space. Burgeoning The Small Business industries here Development include Center of Hampton transportation & Roads, Inc. was maritime; business developed by the & financial services; Hampton Roads technology; retail & Chamber of commercial; and Commerce and industrial & Thomas Nelson manufacturing Community College industries. Minority in partnership with businesses are the U.S. Small afforded every Business opportunity to win. Administration. The With one of the SBDC bolsters lowest combined Hampton Roads’ state and local economy, offering sales tax rates in free business the nation, counseling and Virginia’s Hampton Roads region is poised to attract affordable training classes and seminars to firms with the most selective business owners. fewer than 100 employees. The Chamber’s full-time lobbyist advocates for legislation to maintain an ideal Access in and out of the Hampton Roads area is business environment. unparalleled. There is a fully integrated network that includes port, air, rail, and highway transportation. Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance More than 80% of the world’s shipping companies exposes the region to the world through marketing utilize the Port of Hampton Roads. This ideal inter- programs that have resulted in global endorsements. modal facility links Virginia and the U.S. to over 250 The Alliance has overseas offices in key locations: locations, 100 of them overseas. Germany and London. *Source: Hampton Roads Statistic Digest 2003 City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  9. 9. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA Cultural & Historical Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together Cultural & Historical Virginia ranks 6th in African American visitation among the 50 states is expected to be open to the public, completely restored, in the fall of 2004. In addition, the historic 1919 Theater will house a cultural arts center for community events, conventions & attractions. In 2002, the Virginia Tourism Corporation took The Chrysler Museum of Art is considered one of the cultural diversity to a new level when it implemented 20 best in the United States. Regional ballet is offered, the state’s first African American Heritage along with lecture demonstrations, at the Virginia Cooperative Marketing Program. The program, Ballet Theatre. Enjoy the classics, pops, family and dedicated to the marketing and promotion of African dance series at Virginia Symphony, where more than American heritage, has funded 39 organizations to 140 performances are presented each year. The gain exposure for African American heritage sites, Virginia Stage Company brings professional theatre programs and events. to Norfolk with five major productions each season. Virginia ranks sixth in African American visitation The beautiful Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center among the 50 states, based on actual number of at Norfolk State University was named for Virginia’s visitors, and seventh by percentage of African popular African American governor who served American visitors. Virginia from 1991-1995. To help the Commonwealth attract additional African American visitors, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities has produced the first-ever guide to African American attractions in the Commonwealth, “The Heritage and Culture of African Americans in Virginia: A Guide to the Sites.” More than 100 sites are featured. Of special note is Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, where the Black Soldiers Memorial honors Union veterans of the Civil War. At Norfolk State University, one of the largest predominately black universities in the nation, is a display of slavery memorabilia in the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library. The Attucks Theater, named in honor of Crispus Attucks, the Revolutionary War hero, City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com
  10. 10. Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA News Where Cities and Innovation Comes Together News City of Portsmouth Department of Economic Development 200 High Street, Suite 200, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3722 (800) 848-5690 • www.portsmouthvaed.com City of Norfolk Department of Development 500 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-4338 • www.norfolkdevelopment.com

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