The primary mission of the County’s Office of Economic Development (OED) and Economic Development Authority (EDA) is to create a diverse economic base by the aggressive recruitment, expansion and retention of businesses, industries, and tourism, thus expanding the tax base and capital investment in the County and providing new employment opportunities for its citizens.
When an economic development program is successful, it results in a more balanced tax base for the locality by increasing the percentage of total taxes generated by the locality’s commercial, industrial, and tourism entities. In practical terms, this means a lower real estate tax rate for all of our property-owning citizens. Additionally, a healthy commercial tax base supports quality municipal services, most importantly our Fire and Life Safety Department, Sherriff’s Office, and school system. A robust commercial sector also adds immensely to our overall quality of life through charitable giving, volunteerism, and new job creation.
The Office of Economic Development works in cooperation with many regional and state agencies to pursue its mission. Key among these allies are the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Greater Williamsburg Partnership, Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center, and local Chambers of Commerce. Perhaps the most important ally is the York County Economic Development Authority. Established in 1972, the EDA (formerly the Industrial Development Authority) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia and has unique powers established in the Code of Virginia. The EDA is a conduit for non-taxable industrial revenue bonds, can legally own, develop, and sell or lease commercial real estate, and can provide incentives necessary to close deals within targeted industry sectors. For example, the EDA played a significant role in developing the York River Commerce Park and attracting businesses like Travaini Pumps USA and Ryson International. The EDA is a seven member body appointed by the Board of Supervisors to an initial four year term. Anyone interested in serving on the EDA should submit a Board Bank application.
The OED and EDA are very focused on assisting our existing businesses to expand and prosper, as roughly 70% of new economic growth comes from a locality’s existing business community. Several programs have been developed to help cultivate and sustain our local companies. Detailed information on these programs can be found within this site.
If you or anyone you know is interested in establishing, expanding, or relocating a business in York County, please contact us. We are also very interested in hearing from you regarding new ideas to improve the County’s business environment. Working together to sustain our existing businesses and to attract new commercial development, we can all help improve the County’s quality of life.