Minority Business Assistance
If our office does not have an answer to your question, we will help you find the agency that does.
Demographic/Market Data and Research
We can provide you with information about the City and its residents.
Business First Visitation Program
If your business is located in the City, we would like to learn more about your operation and how we can better serve you. Please call 434-970-3717 to set up a visitation with a representative from our office.
Site Selection Assistance
Our website offers a searchable database of available sites in the City. We can also meet with you to determine a location in the City that will best suit your business needs.
Business Education Programs
We sponsor/support business workshops throughout the year for entrepreneurs. For more information about what our office can do for you, call 434-970-3110 or email Economic Development.
Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The CV SBDC provides area businesses with professional, one-on-one management counseling in a variety of financial, marketing, and operational areas as well as through sponsorship of training seminars. The CV SBDC also assists pre-venture and existing businesses in developing their business plans which include market analyses, creating financial projections, and identifying capital needs. For additional information about the SBDC, please visit their website.
SCORE provides free consulting services to both start-up and existing small businesses in the City of Charlottesville and counties of:
SCORE has more than 20 counselors, all of whom have many years of business experience in various fields such as restaurants, retail stores, construction, etc. SCORE also presents approximately 40 seminars each year on various business topics such as business planning, marketing, financing, etc.
Virginia Department Small Business & Supplier Diversity (VDSBSD)
The Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity (VDSBSD) supports and promotes economic development in the Commonwealth of Virginia by enhancing growth opportunities for Virginia’s small businesses to prosper through increased revenue and job creation thereby raising the standard of living for all Virginians. The VDSBSD also contains the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA), which is the Commonwealth’s business financing arm. Its loan officers work with commercial banks to help them provide loans to small businesses; to provide direct loans and credit enhancements; and to administer a grant program which provides grants to individual investors who are investing in small businesses. For more information, visit their website.
Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP)
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) is the state economic development authority for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Created in 1995, VEDP collaborates with local, regional, and state partners to encourage the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy. VEDP works to accomplish these objectives through a variety of activities, including marketing and lead generation; business retention, expansion, and attraction; trade development; business intelligence; competitive benchmarking; site development; performance-based incentives; and talent solutions. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. With dedicated and knowledgeable professionals committed to Virginia’s economic success, VEDP helps businesses find the resources they need to make relocation and expansion successful endeavors. For more information, visit VEDP's website.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA’s Section 8(a) Business Development Program provides various forms of assistance (management and technical assistance, financial assistance, government contracting assistance, and advocacy support) to foster the growth and development of businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. SBA assists these businesses to gain equal access to the resources necessary to develop their business by teaching them how to compete in the Federal contracting arena and how to take advantage of greater subcontracting opportunities available from large firms as the result of public-private partnerships. More specifically, the SBA will enter into contracts with other federal agencies and subcontract the performance of such contracts to 8(a) program participants. For more information or to complete an online application, visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website.
The SBA also administers the Small Disadvantaged Business certification, which allows a firm to be added to an online registry of SDB-certified firms. Businesses remain on the list for three years, and contracting officers and prime contractors may search this registry for potential suppliers. To qualify as a small disadvantaged business, a firm must be owned by one or more individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. While the 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms, SBD certification strictly pertains to benefits in Federal Procurement. Companies which are 8(a) firms automatically qualify for SDB certification. For more information, visit the How to win contracts page.