"From a business perspective, Greater Richmond and the state of Virginia may well offer the best business environment in the United States." That's the assessment of John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and CEO of global packaging leader MWV (MeadWestvaco Corp.), which moved its corporate headquarters and R&D to Greater Richmond from Stamford, Connecticut, over the last several years.
One of the reasons MWV chose Greater Richmond was that the area already is a proven corporate headquarters location, and it offers a diverse regional economy as well. Today, there are 10 Fortune 1000 companies based in Greater Richmond. In addition, there are dozens of international companies that have their North American headquarters in the community.
The Richmond region has actively and successfully recruited international companies since the early 1980s. This long history and commitment results in a community that offers a broad array of services, programs, and infrastructure, combined with a deep pool of knowledge that is focused on the unique requirements of international business.
Targeted international initiatives include the Virginia Bioscience Commercialization Center based at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park. This 34-acre research complex is located in downtown Richmond and adjacent to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and hospitals. The Commercialization Center grew out of an Israeli-focused bioscience initiative that complemented the park's successful Incubator program for U.S.-based start-ups.
An even newer business recruitment program is the Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator. This facility also houses an International Commercialization Center. Located in Hanover County, the prime sponsor is Dominion, a Fortune 500 utility and natural resource company that is offering mentoring, beta testing on the "power grid," and product assessment. This program is actively being marketed by the Greater Richmond Partnership to businesses in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Israel.
The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. is the regional economic development program that is funded 50-50 by the local business community and the four local governments it represents: the City of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico. Assistance to international companies looking to establish a subsidiary or facility in the United States is offered free-of-charge. The partnership has offices and representatives in Europe (Cologne, Germany), the United Kingdom (Kent, England), and Israel.
The region is a full-service community that offers modern office and technology parks, such as the nationally recognized 850-acre Innsbrook Office Park and the 2,400-acre White Oak Technology Park in Henrico County. Chesterfield County is home to international manufacturing facilities such as Wako Chemical USA (Japan), Alstom Power (France), Eternal Technologies (Taiwan), Filtrona Porous Technologies (UK), and ept inc. (Germany).
The partnership's U.S.-based team of experts and its overseas representatives are available to convey the full story of Greater Richmond's business advantages, introduce you to potential customers and professional services, and tailor a specific pathway to enter the U.S. market and establish a profitable business venture in our region.