Latest News



Business and Shared Services


Please join the @NorfolkVA Economic Development and the Alliance for an export webinar featuring Olga Molnar, CEcD, director of the Richmond field office for the U.S. Commercial Service. See details below and register for this free webinar: 757_Alliance photo

Today we'd like to extend our gratitude to our 70 private investors who work alongside us to enhance the economy of Hampton Roads. #EconDevWeek22 757_Alliance photo

Stay Up-To-Date with the Alliance

Breeze Airways holds grand opening and begins service from Norfolk International Airport

Announcement • Press Release

 Breeze Airways, a new U.S.- based airline providing low-cost, nonstop service to mid-size markets, held a grand opening today to begin service at Norfolk International Airport. The grand opening included launching two new non-stop flights to Charleston and Tampa. An additional five non-stop flights will be added by the end of July to the cities of New Orleans, Columbus, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Providence.

VRC Metal Systems to Invest in City of Chesapeake

Announcement • Press Release

Company to lease 9,800 SF; working in concert with Mid-Atlantic Tech Bridge. The Hampton Roads Alliance (the Alliance) is pleased to announce VRC Metal Systems, LLC, in collaboration with Mid-Atlantic Tech Bridge and the U.S. Navy, is creating an industrial facility in the City of Chesapeake, creating up to 10 new jobs for the Hampton Roads region over a five-year period.

Governor Northam Announces New Airline to Establish Operations in Norfolk, Creating 116 New Jobs

Announcement • Press Release

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Breeze Airways, a new U.S.- based airline providing low-cost, nonstop service to mid-size markets, will invest $5.2 million to establish an operations center in the City of Norfolk. The company targets underserved and unserved cities without nonstop service and has identified dozens of route opportunities from Norfolk International Airport. Norfolk will be one of Breeze Airways’ first five locations in the United States, and the airline also plans to offer flights out of Richmond International Airport. Virginia successfully competed with several other locations for the project, which will create 116 new jobs.

Hampton Roads Alliance, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, and OpenSeas Technology Innovation Hub Announce Virginia Offshore Wind Landing

Announcement • Press Release

The Hampton Roads Alliance, alongside the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy and OpenSeas Technology Innovation Hub, is excited to announce the opening of the Virginia Offshore Wind Landing. The Landing is a collaborative space where companies interested in establishing a presence in Hampton Roads can become part of the region’s maritime network and growing offshore wind industry. 

Offshore Wind Is About to Blow Up And with Dominion Energy leading the way, Virginia is poised to become the East Coast wind energy hub.


A multi-billion-dollar industry is on the brink of taking off along the U.S. East Coast. As the demand for renewable energy skyrockets, a recent study by London-based BVG Associates, an international renewable energy consultant, estimated that investors could spend up to $140 billion by 2035 on wind power facilities along the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. The group concluded that electricity generated by offshore wind, virtually non-existent in the U.S. at present, could reach a massive 40 gigawatts in a mere 15 years.

State-of-the-Art Hydroponic Greenhouse in Virginia Beach to Create 155 New Jobs


RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that startup company Sunny Farms, LLC will invest $59.6 million to establish a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse for production, workforce development, and research in the City of Virginia Beach. The company’s location at Taylor Farms will also house One Matters Inc., a new 501(c)(3), not-for-profit entity that will offer workforce development opportunities for underserved populations. Virginia successfully competed with Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for the project, which will create 155 new jobs.

Republished from Virginia Economic Development

Katoen Natie Norfolk to Invest $61 Million to Expand Freight Distribution Center


Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam announced today that Katoen Natie Norfolk Inc., a plastics and polymers warehousing and distribution company and subsidiary of Katoen Natie, will invest $61 million to expand its freight distribution center in the City of Norfolk Government. The company will add a 243,000-square-foot warehouse and rail facility to its operation which will create 35 new jobs. The Alliance assisted Katoen Natie with their decision to locate in Norfolk alongside Virginia Economic Development Partnership over ten years ago.

Republished from Virginia Economic Development

Recovery Blueprint Holds Promise to Speed Region’s Growth

In The News

Getting the Hampton Roads business community back to full strength following the hardship of the coronavirus pandemic will require a lot of planning, considerable effort, widespread cooperation and buy-in, and a little bit of luck.

Hampton Roads business Organizations Unveil Ambitious Recovery Plan

In The News

The plan, called the 757 Recovery and Resilience Action Framework, seeks to improve key economic indicators — job growth, wage growth and gross domestic product — through a barrage of programs and initiatives that span new industry development, diversity and inclusion, resiliency and a regional marketing campaign.  

757 Economic Recovery Plan Focuses On Cooperation

In The News

Hampton Roads Alliance President and CEO Doug Smith presented a report detailing multiple goals for the region to help it recover financially after the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting job and business losses. It is based on input from more than 200 nonprofit, government and business leaders who participated in meetings with the organization during the past six months.

Hampton Roads Alliance Selects Xodus Group To Conduct Offshore Wind Supply Chain Research Project

Press Release

The Hampton Roads Alliance (the Alliance) has partnered with Xodus Group and BW Research to conduct a major offshore wind supply chain study for the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. The project will be used to build out the US offshore wind industry in Hampton Roads and identify key opportunities for economic expansion.  

Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk Among the Top 15 Best Cities for New Years by WalletHub

Awards / accolades
WalletHub compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities across two dimensions: 1) Safety and Accessibility and 2) Entertainment and Food. They evaluated those dimensions using 15 relevant metrics. They also used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities. Virginia Beach took 1st place, Chesapeake took 12th place and Norfolk took 14th.

Norfolk Named One of the Friendliest Cities Around the World by CNTraverlers Readers Choice AwardsSurvey

Awards / accolades
In Conde Nast Traverlers 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey of 2020 Norfolk, VA was awarded 7th among 10 different US cities

Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Named Best Places to Live for Veterans by WalletHub

Awards / accolades
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 20 key indicators of livability, affordability and veteran-friendliness. They range from share of military skill-related jobs to veteran income growth to availability of VA health facilities. Read on for our findings, expert commentary from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology. Virgnia Beach took the #7 spot while Cheseapeake took #17

Startup Downtown Franklin Earns Gold Award at IEDC Annual Conference

Awards / accolades
STARTUP Franklin Southampton won a gold category award for the Neighborhood and Retail Development category of the 2020 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program. The honor was presented recently at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference.

Virginia Beach Named Third Best City for First-time Homebuyers

Awards / accolades
SmartAssset conducted a study for the best cities for first-time homebuyers in 2020 by comparing 185 of the largest U.S. cities across 12 metrics. We grouped the metrics into four categories: home market favorability (price-to-rent ratio, five-year home value appreciation and foreclosure rate), affordability (under-45 homeownership rate, down payment-to-income ratio, housing costs as a percentage of income and effective property tax rate), livability (concentration of dining and entertainment establishments, average commute time and violent crime rate) and employment (unemployment rate and five-year change in median household income).

Hampton Roads Alliance Releases Report on Estimated Economic Impact of Offshore Wind Industry

Press Release

The Hampton Roads Alliance (the Alliance) is pleased to present the findings of an economic impact analysis, conducted by Mangum Economics, on the impact of both Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project and the potential impact that a growing American offshore wind industry may have on the Hampton Roads region and the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Huntington Ingalls Industries to Establish Unmanned Systems Facility in Hampton

Announcement • Press Release

The Hampton Roads Alliance is pleased to share that Governor Ralph Northam announced today Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) will create more than 250 new jobs in the region by establishing an Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence in the City of Hampton. HII is the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company and provides professional services to government and industry. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project.

Alliance plans to bring offshore wind supply chain to region with GO Virginia funding - Inside Business

In The News

The Alliance recently sat down with Inside Business to discuss our newest endeavor, Offshore Wind in Hampton Roads. In this feature, Alliance President & CEO Doug Smith shares that GO Virginia recently awarded the Alliance a grant of over $500,000 geared towards developing an offshore wind supply chain development initiative.

Norfolk Awarded Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its COVID-19 Business Retention and Recovery project

Awards / accolades
The IEDC honored Norfolk with a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for the "COVID-19 Business Retention and Recovery project – Resiliency, Recovery and Mitigation, Population 200,000 - 500,000. The BREI recognized Norfolk with its Community Impact Award for the Multi-jurisdictional category based upon its strategy to work with regional organizations in partnership to accomplish shared goals.

Norfolk Ranks as Virginia's Hidden Travel Gem - Travel Pulse

Awards / accolades

Norfolk, Virginia has been ranked by Travel Pulse as a “Hidden Gem Travel Destination.” The company chose hidden travel gems for each state and Norfolk made the list for Virginia! The Destination & Tourism news site described Norfolk as “an eclectic, melting pot of a port city.”

Smooth Sailing: Hampton Roads Featured in Site Selection Magazine

In The News

In July, Hampton Roads was featured in Site Selection Magazine and was described as a "polycentric region built around a multi-faceted port." The editorial by Adam Bruns highlighted the region's growing distribution & logistics industry and showcased why Hampton Roads is a premier location for logistics-related investment. Businesses from around the region were featured, such as Dollar Tree, Givens Trucking, SRP Companies, Interchange, and more. 

State of Virginia Takes Lead in Digital Infrastructure on Business Facilities' 16th Annual State Rankings

Awards / accolades

In their 16th Annual State Ranking Report, Business Facilities (BF) recognized Virginia in the top ten for multiple categories, including the newly introduced, Digital Infrastructure. BF expressed that data is the currency for the realm of the 21st century and Digital Infrastructure is a key asset for growth. Described as being  "wired for success," Virginia tops the charts for Digital Infrastructure in its first year. They stated that "Virginia is the top-ranked state in our first Digital Infrastructure ranking, a choice made easy by the impressive assets the Commonwealth has deployed to create a gigabit superhighway for data-driven high-tech businesses." 

Virginia was also recognized as #1 for Cybersecurity and Unmanned Aerial Systems; #2 for Best Business Climate; #3 for Workforce Development/Talent Attraction and Offshore Wind Power; and #5 for Tech Jobs. 

Sentara Healthcare Recognized on Forbes' 2020 America's Best Employers for Women

Awards / accolades

In July 2020, Forbes released its annual list of America’s Best Employers for Women. Included in the list was Alliance Investor, Sentara Healthcare, as 202 of the top 300 in the country. In Forbes’ third annual ranking of the best employers for women, they collaborated with a market research firm, Statista. They surveyed 75,000 Americans, including 45,000 women, working for businesses that employ more than 1,000 workers. Thirty-one industries shared their opinion on a series of statements about their respective employer’s culture, opportunities for career developments, salary and wages, diversity, and more. 

Alliance Director of Marketing & Communications, Jillian Goodwin Recognized as Old Dominion University's Featured Alumna

Podcast / radio

Alliance Director of Marketing & Communications, Jillian Goodwin, is recognized by Old Dominion University Alumni Association as their Featured Alumnu in their monthly newsletter and in their first Alumni Spotlight podcast! Jillian is a proud Monarch ('15) and joined the Alliance just three weeks after graduating from ODU. She is a valuable part of the Alliance team and the 757 community at large. 

Hampton Roads Alliance Announces Offshore Wind Supply Chain Development Initiative

Press Release

To lead the effort, regional expert Matt Smith will join the Alliance as its first Director of Offshore Wind Business Development. This initiative is made possible largely thanks to a Department of Housing & Community Development GO Virginia grant of $529,788 that will help fund the first two years of the program. 

Poquoson Ranked on List of Safest Cities to Live in VA - SafeWise Study

Awards / accolades

In July 2020, SafeWise released its sixth annual Safest Cities report, which included our friends in Poquoson. The City was rated #12 on the list with a population of 12,011 and a median income of $88,328. SafeWise collects data on the safest cities by using FBI crime statistics, US Census population data, and demographic information. 

Acoustical Sheetmetal Company Announces Expansion in Hampton Roads, Creates 200 New Jobs

Announcement • Press Release

Acoustical Sheetmetal Company (ASC), a manufacturer of sound attenuating and weather protective enclosures for on-site power generation equipment, will invest $15.8 million to expand its operation in Virginia Beach, adding 200 new jobs to the region. ASC currently operates three facilities on a 5.5 acre campus in Virginia Beach and this expansion will add a 100,000 SF production facility to their footprint. 

ASGN/Apex Systems to expand operations in Hampton Roads; Creates 700 New Jobs Across Virginia

Announcement • Press Release

The Alliance is pleased to announce ASGN Inc/Apex Systems  will invest $1.8 million to expand its operations in the City Virginia Beach adding 147 new jobs to the City at the Armada Hoffler Tower in Town Center. The expansion is part of a $12.4 million investment throughout the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, which will create over 700 new jobs.

Tage Talks Business – Podcast hosted by Tage Counts

Podcast / radio

Alliance President & CEO, Doug Smith, joins Tage Counts on the Tage Talks Business Podcast. In the episode, he discusses his professional journey as a local leader in the 757, the Alliance's new model, our strategic plan during the pandemic, and more.

The Power List | Regional leaders assist businesses with coronavirus effects - Inside Business Special Report

Awards / accolades

Doug Smith is among a group of six Hampton Roads business and workforce leaders recognized on a Power List of Regional leaders assisting businesses with coronavirus effects by Inside Business. When the covid-19 pandemic began in the region, the group sought to map out a concerted response to the economic difficulties many area companies would soon be facing. In doing so, they executed on the collaboration and regionalism that has been touted by leaders while often being dismissed by naysayers in recent years.

HearSay with Cathy Lewis - WHRO

Podcast / radio
Alliance President & CEO, Doug Smith, talks with Cathy Lewis on her public affairs talk radio show, HearSay with Cathy Lewis, on WHRO. Doug shares the collaborative efforts that have been made focusing on business recovery in the 757.

Virginia Beach and Norfolk named Hardest Working Cities by WalletHub

Awards / accolades
In order to determine which cities outwork the rest of America, WalletHub compared the 116 largest cities across 11 key metrics. Our data set ranges from employment rate to average weekly work hours to share of workers with multiple jobs. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology. Virginia Beach the third hardest working city while Norfolk was sixth

Virginia Beach Ranked on List of 10 Best Cities to be Stuck at Home

Awards / Accolades

In a study done by LawnStarter, Virginia Beach, VA ranked #9 on a list of 10 Best Cities to Be Stuck at Home. The company researched data and statistics for the 150 most populated U.S. cities and compared them using 29 safety-oriented metrics to determine which cities were the best to be stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The 29 metrics were grouped into five categories including community safety, health & wellness, natural hazards, financial safety, and digital security.

Newport News Named a 2020 Green City

Awards / accolades

Insurify Insights named Newport News, VA, as a “2020 Greenest City.” The data science and research team for the company measured each cities fuel efficiency, engine displacement, drivetrain, annual mileage, and vehicles per household to gather information on carbon footprint across the United States cities. 

Hampton ranked one of the most affordable beach towns for 4th year

Awards / accolades
Hampton remains one of the most affordable beach towns in America, according to a recent study by the financial technology company SmartAsset. They consider median home value, property taxes and housing cost, the city was ranked no. 17 out of the top 50 beach towns in the country. Hampton was the only Virginia city to make the Smart Asset’s top 50.

First COVID-19 Hampton Roads business impact survey is underway – 13News Now

In The News

Doug Smith speaks with 13New Now about the first 757 COVID-19 Business Leader Survey development and key findings from Wave 1 of businesses responses.

Peninsula Biz Buzz – Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

Podcast / radio
Doug Smith, Alliance President & CEO sits down with VPCC’s Bob McKenna and cohost, Shelley Smith to discuss what the Alliance is doing to help put Hampton Roads on the path to economic recovery and success after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon to Build Two New Facilites and Create 1,500 Jobs

Announcement • Press Release

In Suffolk, Amazon will invest $200 million to establish a 3.8 million sq. foot, multi-story robotics fulfillment center, creating 1,000 new jobs. The new 90-feet tall facility will be the largest industrial building in Virginia. In Chesapeake, Amazon will build a 650,000 sq. foot processing center (cross-dock), which will bring 500 new jobs. The company will invest $50 million to establish this facility, bringing the total investment to $250 million for the region. Both facilities are expected to begin operations in 2021.

Virginia Beach & Norfolk Ranked On WalletHub's Hardest Working Cities in the Country

Awards / accolades

In a study conducted by WalletHub, Virginia Beach, VA ranked 3rd and Norfolk ranked 6th as hardest-working cities in the country. The study was conducted using 11 key metrics across 116 large cities. Data ranges from employment rate to average weekly work hours to workers with multiple jobs. 

Alliance Welcomes Its First Chief Strategy Officer

Press Release

The Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (the Alliance) welcomes Nicole Ryf as the first Chief Strategy Officer, assisting President & CEO Doug Smith with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives around business recruitment and expansion. 

Acesur to Invest $11 Million in Hampton Roads in First U.S Production Facility

Announcement • Press Release

The Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (the Alliance) is pleased to announce Acesur, an international olive oil manufacturer, will invest $11 million to establish its first U. S. production facility in the City of Suffolk, VA.

GMAX Industries Will Invest $10.5 Million in New Operations

Announcement • Press Release

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that GMAX Industries, Inc., a manufacturer and sourcing agent of medical disposable products for the healthcare industry, will invest $10.5 million to establish a manufacturing and distribution operation in Pretlow Industrial Park in the City of Franklin. The facility will centralize the company’s operations in-house, creating 40 new jobs.

Virginia Beach & Chesapeake Recognized as Safest Cities in America

Awards / accolades

In 2019, WalletHub ranked Virginia Beach, VA as #6 on a list of “Safest Cities in America” and Chesapeake, VA as #11 on the list. WalletHub compared cities across 41 key indicators of safety. Some categories included were home & community safety rank, natural disaster risk rank, financial safety rank, and many more. 

Norfolk Announced as a 2019 Digital Survey Winner

Awards / accolades

Government Technology announced the Center for Digital Government (CDG) 2019 Digital Cities winners, and Norfolk, Virginia, made 1st place on the list. The company stated, “The winners of this year’s Digital Cities Survey from the Center for Digital Government are those making smart investments in technologies from infrastructure and citizen engagement to data storage and cybersecurity.” With a population of around 125,000-249,999 in November 2019, Norfolk was described as having climbed to the top of the list. The city invested $8 million in IT infrastructure, including new public safety radios, police in-car cameras, and much more for the 2019 year. The city also hopes that its most significant project, a 37-mile ring of city-owned fiber to connect critical facilities, will save $200,000 a year compared to leasing fiber from a local Internet provider.

Virginia Beach & Norfolk Ranked as Top 10 Best Cities for Thanksgiving

Awards / accolades

In a study completed by WalletHub in November 2019, Virginia Beach and Norfolk ranked in the top ten Best Places to Go for Thanksgiving. WalletHub compared 100 largest U.S. cities based on 20 key metrics: cost of Thanksgiving dinner, the share of delayed flights, and more. Virginia Beach ranked #3, and Norfolk ranked #10 on the list. 

Virginia Beach Ranked on a List of Best Cities for Veterans to Live

Awards / accolades

In 2019, WalletHub ranked Virginia Beach, VA as the 7th best city for veterans to live. U.S. cities were compared across 20 key indicators of livability, affordability, and veteran-friendliness. 

Subscribe today to receive valuable, up-to-date insight on the Hampton Roads region.




Hampton Roads Alliance
101 W. Main Street, Suite 1000
Norfolk, VA 23510
P: (757) 627-2315
F: (757) 623-3081

© 2022 Hampton Roads Alliance. All rights reserved. | Site By: Conway Inc. | Privacy Policy