Virginia Receives Three Awards from the International Economic Development Council

Awards included two gold and one bronze recipient recognition

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development received three distinguished awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for its 2022 Excellence Awards at the recent IEDC Annual Conference. The awards honor organizations for exemplary economic development marketing campaigns, projects and programs. Virginia was recognized for the Community Business Launch, Industrial Revitalization Fund and Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia).  

“Virginia’s IEDC awards are well-deserved recognition for the ongoing and innovative programs that are supporting our economic development efforts across Virginia,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The three awarded initiatives are a testament to our economic development work and exemplify my administration’s Day One promise to revitalize the Virginia economy so that it works for all Virginians.” 

Community Business Launch won the Gold Award recipient recognition for the Entrepreneurship category. Between 2015 and 2021 the CBL program has been implemented in 33 communities, supporting the creation or expansion of approximately 158 businesses, more than 345 new jobs, and leveraged private investments of more than $2.64 million. The original pilot project featured three communities, Gloucester County and the cities of Staunton and Hopewell. Each community received $100,000 for funding to coordinate a six- to eight-week business course for new entrepreneurs and existing small businesses, who entered a pitch competition for seed funding in order to open their storefront. 

Industrial Revitalization Fund won the Bronze Award recipient recognition for the Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse category. This project supported the redevelopment of Trapezium Brewing, retail space, and residential units in Petersburg. The project generated construction, retail, hospitality, and small-scale production jobs directly as well as secondary job creation. The IRF program has provided funding for 38 projects since 2012 that have generated over $121 million in public and private investment, and created nearly 500 jobs. 

Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) won the Gold Award recipient recognition for Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration. GO Virginia seeks to drive transformational, long-term regional strategies that make regions, and the companies that reside in them, more competitive. GO Virginia has engaged more than 185 local public partners in one or more regional economic development initiatives and has made more than $90 million in investments in four key areas – workforce development, sites/infrastructure development, the start-up ecosystem, and cluster scaling activities. Funded projects are expected to create more than 25,000 jobs and create new capacity to support future economic growth.   

“Having strong regional economies and supportive, place-specific investments are the fulcrum upon which thriving communities rest, and these programs offer crucial support to achieve the Commonwealth’s economic development goals,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “These awarded programs have helped bolster local economies, while offering targeted support for community-identified needs, and we are immensely proud of these prestigious honors.” 

The IEDC Annual Conference features 25 award categories that honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world. IEDC received over 500 submissions from the United States and four additional countries.