The Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade invites you to a

Town Hall Series:

Expanding Economic Opportunity in the Commonwealth

Ways to Leverage and Grow Virginia's Small, Women, and Minority-Owned Businesses

One of the Commonwealth's greatest assets is the economic engine of small, women, and minority-owned businesses. More than 95% of all businesses in Virginia are small, and these businesses have the advantage of being both agile and innovative while also driving diversity. Join the Secretariat of Commerce & Trade in coordination with DSBSD to identify barriers that small, women, and minority owned businesses face both in state contracting and in the market more broadly. We will seek input from a broad and diverse base of stakeholders from across Virginia to identify ways to reshape state programming and resources.  

Virginia’s Opportunity Zones

Federally designated Opportunity Zones were designed to shift the economics of projects in distressed areas, giving investors a tax incentive for investing in areas that typically don’t receive their attention. Both investors, localities, and businesses have expressed tremendous interest in capitalizing on this new program, but connecting these groups in a productive and consistent way is challenging. Join the Secretariat of Commerce and Trade, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Virginia Community Capital for a discussion on ways that communities, businesses, and private investors can take advantage of the Opportunity Zone program.

Virginia's Role in High-Growth (tech-centric) and Research-Driven Economic Development  

During the 2019 Legislative Session, two bills were considered that would have created a new authority or made several changes to an existing authority around funding and oversight of research commercialization, entrepreneurship, and innovation economic development initiatives in the Commonwealth. Although there was universal support for more efficient use of state resources, the legislature decided – due to concerns addressed by many affected stakeholders – to delay pending an effort led by the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to assess and recommend a plan – statewide-backed and driven by a diverse workgroup of subject matter experts – to consolidate, restructure, and transition programs from related agencies or entities to a structure that ensures more collaboration and coordination in the Commonwealth's innovation sector. That process starts locally through these Town Halls. Join us for an interactive discussion on Virginia's role in high-growth and research-driven economic development.

Survey on Virginia's Role in the Innovation Economy

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on the Commonwealth's role in the innovation economy.

Take our Survey


Please RSVP to the following Town Halls across Virginia. Feel free to come to any and all sessions that are applicable to your area of interest. 

May 22 | Fairfax  RSVP

June 13 | Charlottesville* RSVP

June 13 | Abingdon* RSVP

June 14 | Lynchburg* RSVP

June 18 | Norfolk RSVP

June 21 | Richmond  RSVP

 *ONLY hosting Virginia's Role in High-Growth (tech-centric) and Research-Driven Economic Development