Last Updated: 2011-11-11

Icon for economic growth Economic Development

Encourages a vibrant economy and includes such topics as: green and local jobs, sustainable businesses and urban agriculture.

Food Policy Task Force

The city created a Food Policy Task Force to further its urban agriculture efforts. The Task Force is a broad based group of professionals and community members. Among other initiatives, it will conduct a food assessment of the community and develop a more robust support system for urban agriculture based economic development initiatives.

Community Gardens

The city created Richmond Grows Gardens, its Community Garden Program, to enable the public to use vacant city-owned parcels for the development of community gardens throughout the city of Richmond. Community gardens are also an economic driver. Blighted property can be turned into urban gardens to provide a local source of healthy food for a community.

School and Children's Gardens

A number of city public schools have gardens, including Linwood Holton Elementary School, which also has a Farm to School program, Mary Scott Elementary School, Southampton Elementary School, and G.H. Reid Elementary School. The 17th Street Farmer's Market sponsors the Little Sprouts Garden which works with volunteers and children from several Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority communities to educate the children about local food and work ethics.

Farmers Markets

The city supports farmers markets including the 17th Street Farmers Market and the South of the James Market. Farmers markets enable citizens to purchase fresh, local, healthy food and assist local farmers.

City Incentive Programs

The city of Richmond offers a series of financial tools and incentives for businesses relocating and expanding within the city. Incentives are subject to availability of funds. CARE is designed to revitalize and return economic viability to mature neighborhood districts. The city's Enterprise Zone Program offers financial incentives to qualified commercial and industrial users in specific Enterprise Zone areas of the city. The city offers partial exemption from real estate taxes for qualifying rehabilitated and replaced structures. The Contractor Assistance Loan Program provides capital to contractors that are located within the city of Richmond that lack access to traditional financing.

City-wide Revolving Loan Fund

The city established a loan fund of $2 million which is available to stimulate the revitalization of Richmond's neighborhoods and promote job creation for low and moderate income residents by helping to bridge the credit gap for independent real estate developers and smaller employers. Affordable live-work spaces and a new restaurant in the Broad Street corridor and Arts District are among the first projects that received gap funding from the loan fund.

Contact Information:

Richmond City Sustainability
730 E. Broad St., 8th Floor
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: 311 or (804)646-7000

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