Richmond named 7th best city for business

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Business is booming again in Richmond. Market watch released its annual "best cities for business" in America list and Richmond made the cut. That's after tumbling off the list just one year ago.

It was a tough couple of years in Richmond. Homegrown companies like S&K and Circuit City folded. Land America went bankrupt. Thousands lost jobs.

And then became hhgregg to fill the Circuit City void. Ukrop's stores became Martins. Richmond city leaders kept Pfizer from leaving town all together.

"When we heard there was some talk of them leaving we got involved and had conversation with them along with the state," said Mayor Dwight Jones.

Wall Street Journal's Market Watch says business is booming again in Richmond ranking the city at number 7 in its annual best cities for business list.

"It doesn't surprise me because even though we had an awful lot of companies leave that also made us available for other companies to move in," said Tom Arnold.

Tom Arnold is a finance professor at the University of Richmond and says it was only a matter of time before Richmond would boast business again.

"We have an awful lot of office space and an awful lot of workers available in the area and it's not quite as expensive as D.C. and it's not as far south as Charlotte," Arnold said.

Both reasons given by market watch for Richmond resurgence. The survey says Richmond ranks low in tourism and income levels, but makes up for that in opportunities, low cost of living and a low unemployment rate. Arnold says the rankings look good for Richmond and will mean the most to city and county leaders trying to lure in new companies.

"Having the ability to say people are coming here and being successful is always great promotional material," he said.

Washington D.C. topped Market Watches' list this year. Other cities in the top ten include: Omaha, Boston, Denver, New York, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Seattle.

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