Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development

GrowSmart is strategically aligned in the Department of Economic Development

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Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development


The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is charged with expanding and diversifying the tax base and employment opportunities for the city through business development.​

Specific objectives of the department​​​ include:

  • Recruit national and international business to Virginia Beach
  • Assist local businesses with expansion efforts
  • Attract developers to identifies site opportunities
  • Develop and support workforce training programs
  • Help new businesses get established
  • Recruit and assist minority business development
  • Work with Naval Air S​tation Oceana to support compatible business locations

In addition, the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development assists the business community by fast-tracking projects through acting on your behalf as liaisons with other city departments to streamline the planning, permitting, and zoning processes .​

​​Through our department and our allies, various programs are available for small and startup firms, as well as women-and minority-owned companies of any size. Here are some ways the VBDED can assist:

Target Industry Sectors:  

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Biomedical/Healthcare
  • Cyber/IT
  • Defense
  • Maritime & Logistics
  • Office & Retail
  • Small Business
  • Offshore Wind Energy

Marketing and New Business Attraction

The VBDED promotes Virginia Beach as one of the best business locations through local, national and international events, activities and sponsorships.​ We conduct numerous outreach marketing events in the United States and around the world each year.

​Research Assistance

The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is a single point of contact for real estate information, demographic reports, incentives, and a variety of other research. Site location assistance is provided to domestic and international companies planning new or expanded facilities. ​​​

International Business Services 

Global trade is increasingly important to the Virginia Beach economy, with more than 30 international companies operating significant business facilities here - thirteen from Germany alone.

Strategically located at the midpoint of the United State's East Coast and just three hours from Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach truly is an international gateway to America. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. marketplace and manufacturing base are within 745 miles of Virginia Beach. 

For additional information on programs and services provided by this department, call us at (757) 385-6464 or email us at​​

Recent ​Accomplishments​ 

During fiscal year 2017-2018, the Virginia Beach Development Authority recorded the creation 2,371 new jobs and investment of more than $319 million by 37 projects. The City of Virginia Beach finished the year with a 3.3% unemployment rate, more than one-half percent below the national rate.

Targeted initiatives surrounding the rapidly growing biomedical and cybersecurity industries, along with the arrival of transoceanic subsea cables laid by industry titans Telxius, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google helped keep Virginia Beach on the cutting edge. Thirteen announcements were made by s​mall businesses. Additionally, 26 incentive grants totaling $5.5 million helped leverage $308 million in new private investment, a ratio of 55 to 1.​ Our workforce development program continued to innovate, from providing roundtables and job fairs to the introduction of the LENA Start program from GrowSmart.