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Business Resources in Charlottesville



The Charlottesville Office of Economic Development’s existing business visitation program is designed to provide you with a single point of contact to help you find solutions for today’s business issues.

1.  Share Your Story - Schedule an interview with a development professional from your community. The meeting will include a comprehensive conversation about the past, present, and future plans for your business.

2.  Connect with the Resources Your Business Needs Today – Based on the unique needs of your business, your local development office will work to quickly connect you to the right resources and information in the network.

3.  Help Build a Better Business Community - Your voice becomes one of hundreds as business leaders from throughout the region share their opinions and attitudes about doing business in the area. This information will help policy leaders better understand the business environment and give them information to help remove barriers to business growth.

For more information, contact the Office of Economic Development at or 434-970-3717.


If you are a small, women-, and/or, minority-owned business in Charlottesville, the City’s Office of Economic Development is available to help you. The Office of Economic Development offers the following services to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs:

• Business Education Programs
• Demographic/Market Data & Research
• One-On-One Business Consulting
• Resource Referrals
• Site Selection Assistance
• Small Business Start Up Assistance
• Small, Women-, and Minority-Owned Business (SWaM) Certification Assistance
• Vendor Registration Assistance (State and Local Government)

For more information, contact the Office of Economic Development at or 434-970-3117.


A CD-based program designed to step local entrepreneurs through the nuts and bolts of setting up and operating a successful business. Unlike traditional guides, it is designed to operate in a web-browser environment which means content is easily navigated and the user has access to up-to-date information through external Internet links.  The CD also contains copies of all relevant federal, state, and local forms needed to start and operate a business, and because of its interaction with the Internet, updates are just clicks away.

One of the highlights of the guide is an innovative and easy-to-use program that helps the user develop a business plan, often one of the more difficult steps in setting up a new business.  Using nationally known EntrePlan™ Business Plan Software, the CD generates customized financial projections, a marketing plan, and competitor analysis and encourages the entrepreneur to develop a meaningful business strategy.

To get a free copy of the CD, please contact the Office of Economic Development at or 434-970-3117.


Here's What's New in Town

Charlottesville Receives Recognition for Our Healthy Business Climate

Charlottesville has been named one of the country's TOP FIVE CITIES FOR RETIREES by, a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice from Washington, D.C. The decision was made based on many influential factors such as state tax rates, exemptions for various retirement incomes, low crime rates, access to airports, local transportation and access to leisure activities.

Men's Journal magazine recently listed the City of Charlottesville as ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST CITIES TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY. The new accounting used information compiled by Sperling's Ranked and Rated in their Best Places to Live survey to give editors a snapshot of long term health conditions. The national magazine looked at quality of life issues that contribute to a healthier lifestyle including: availability of local farms and products, shorter commute times, sidewalk access and pedestrian friendly community, lower pollution levels, available and expanding green spaces, and mild climate and sunny days.

The Milken Institute's BEST-PERFORMING CITIES OF 2009 index ranked Charlottesville at 26th in the nation of the 124 smallest metropolitan areas. The index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. The study looks at several categories of short and long-term job, wage and high tech company growth in each region and compares them to the national average. It uses data from Moody's, the Census, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Charlottesville received the highest ranking of all Virginia small metros.

Development in the City of Charlottesville

The City's downtown has shown dramatic changes during the past decade and in particular during the past five years, as a result of both on-going public and private investment in new construction and renovation/restoration projects.  The City’s Downtown Pedestrian Mall is thriving, with an exciting combination of residential and retail units, restaurants, a movie complex, an ice skating rink, hotels, the renovated Paramount Theater, and the new Charlottesville Pavilion, as well as a number of office complexes and financial institutions, all of which draw both local residents and tourists to the area. 

A major refurbishment project was completed in 2009 on the City’s 34-year old Downtown Pedestrian Mall. The multi-million dollar public project included upgrading utility work, adding wireless connectivity for mall merchants and cafes, improved streetscape amenities and lighting as well as installation of over 350,000 new bricks and granite accents throughout the length of the eight-block promenade. The completion of this significant project will help ensure the vitality of this popular destination for decades to come.

Also in 2009, Norcross Station phase three, which features 30 studio apartments located a block and half from the downtown mall and the first Class A commercial construction in over a decade, with 40,000 square feet at 455 2nd Street, were completed. 

During 2010, the largest building ever constructed in the City, the Gleason’s Building at nearly 100,000 Square feet was finished. The building itself will provide two levels of structured parking, 8,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level, two full floors of Class A commercial office space, and the upper three floors will consist of 44 private residences. 

The historic Jefferson Theater has returned to service after completing an extensive two year renovation. The updated venue has a capacity of 750 and is now hosting a variety of entertainment and musical performances downtown. Since reopening in November 2009, show attendance has been strong and the management anticipates producing over 100 performances per year. In addition, the theater hosts corporate meetings, weddings and other social events once again making the Jefferson a true downtown destination.
Beyond downtown, the City’s first Whole Foods grocery store is nearing completion. With construction on phase one of Hillsdale Drive now complete, the new 45,000 square foot grocery is expected to open for business in June 2011. Looking towards the future, significant development will likely occur at and around the current site of Martha Jefferson Hospital. As the medical operations transfer to the new hospital on Pantops in 2012, the 9 acre urban site represents a unique opportunity to enhance the tax base and add employment options in the City.



Frommer’s Cities Ranked and Rated has named Charlottesville the Best Place to Live in America! The publication rated over 400 cities in the United States and Canada in ten different categories, and found that the Charlottesville metropolitan area attained the top overall rating in the U.S. The ten evaluated categories included Economy & Jobs, Cost of Living, Climate, Education, Health & Healthcare, Crime, Transportation, Leisure, Arts & Culture and overall Quality of Life. Press Release for more.

Book image: Frommer's Cities Ranked and Rated

City Gets Triple A Bond Rating

The City of Charlottesville has been reconfirmed with a Triple A Bond Rating by Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s. Charlottesville is still one of few cities to have a Triple A Bond Rating. The City has received this rating each year for the last 29 years and is one of the smallest city in America to be honored with it. “Receiving a Triple A rating is definitely a mark of achievement,” said Bernard Wray, Charlottesville’s Director of Finance. “This high rating allows us to get a better interest rate when we issue Municipal Bonds, thereby saving the taxpayers money.” Sound financial management and a stable economy are just two of the reasons, cited by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, for the City’s Triple A Rating. Triple A Bond Rating by Moody’s Investor Services

We Are Here to Help You Grow Your Business


To ensure that your company has a healthy business climate in the City, a business ambassador team is available to hear concerns or suggestions and try to resolve issues in a responsive manner. The office can also help local businesses with workforce development initiatives, bid document preparation and applications for certification with local, state and federal organizations. Assistance may also be available for expansion plans within the City limits. Direct, hands-on assistance to business owners and potential entrepreneurs is yours for the asking. See the Office for Economic Development for information, or please call us today at:

Economic Development
Phone: (434) 970-3110
Fax: (434) 970-3299


Carolinas-Virginia Regional Minority Supplier Development Council

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