Why the Gateway Region?

Access to markets

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With a strategic location at the midpoint of the East Coast, the Gateway Region enjoys unparalleled access to major markets. More than 40 percent of the U.S. population is accessible within 500 miles or a day's drive. The workforce draws from both Richmond-Petersburg and Virginia Beach-Norfolk metropolitan areas, and is a short drive from Washington, D.C. and North Carolina. With direct access to rail, sea and airports, the region is a prime business location for companies seeking a gateway to global markets. Virginia is a business-friendly, financially-strong state with plenty of incentives for new and growing businesses.

Companies large and small, site selectors, Forbes and CNBC.com all agree – Virginia is the place to be.

Highlights for Site Location

  • Workforce drawn from both Richmond-Petersburg and Hampton Roads MSAs
  • Access to Southeastern, Northeastern and Midwest markets in equal time
  • Extensive and efficient highway system, with 25-minute average commute times and high-speed travel in all directions
  • Rail-served sites available, with double-stacked rail via the Port of Virginia to Chicago and the Midwest as well as Atlanta and other Southern markets
  • Six of Virginia's 13 rail trans-load stations are located in the Gateway Region with another significant one nearby in Richmond
  • Served by Richmond International Airport (RIC) and multiple regional airports
  • Washington, D.C., Norfolk, Raleigh, and Newport News international bulk and commercial airports within a two-hour drive
  • Total population approaching 500,000 in the Gateway Region communities and 1.3 million in Richmond-Petersburg MSA, greater than 19% population growth since 2000
  • Opportunities for fun and relaxation: more than 10,000 acres of recreational land, plus historical landmarks scattered across and near the region
  • Mountains, beaches and the 6th largest metro in the U.S. Washington D.C. are all within a two-hour drive
  • Major distribution centers include Amazon.com, Wal-Mart and Food Lion, with UPS and FedEx hubs throughout the region

Distance to Markets

Source: Google Maps, distance/time from Petersburg as of May 2016

Low Costs of Business

  • Consistently one of the lowest average workers’ compensation costs among states in the nation
  • 6th lowest unemployment insurance tax rate in the nation: 12% lower than average
  • Average cost per unit of electricity for the industrial sector: 6.77 cents in Virginia compared to 7.13 cents for the nation
  • 6% corporate income tax rate has not increased in more than 40 years
  • Building costs in the region are 12.9% below the national average
Tax Rates Virginia U.S. (Median) South Atlantic (Median)
Corporate Income 6.00% 6.5% 6.00%
Sales & Use, State 4.30% 5.75% 5.75%
Avg. Sales & Use, State+Local 5.30% 6.80% 6.07%

Source: Virginia Economic Development Partnership; latest data as of May 2016

Right-to-Work State

Virginia prohibits requirements forcing a person to become a union member as a condition of hiring, leading to heavily reduced union membership and collective bargaining by employees.