Mayor Stoney today unveiled the city’s Strategic Plan for Equitable Economic Development (SPEED).
The plan, which will be introduced at tonight’s Richmond City Council meeting, focuses on community, innovation, and industry, and establishes five aggressive economic development goals through Fiscal Year 2026:
- $3 billion in announced capital investment for economic development projects;
- 3,000 announced new jobs with annual salaries at or above $52,000;
- Reduce the poverty rate by 5 percentage points;
- Public and private sector real estate development activities that generate $25 million in annual real estate tax revenue; and
- 2,500 postsecondary credentials awarded to Richmond residents.
The plan outlines tangible steps toward addressing long-standing inequities that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including racial disparities in education, poverty, housing, and health. Each of the plan’s initiatives are designed to build a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable economy for Richmond.
“This plan is Richmond’s roadmap to economic prosperity,” said Mayor Stoney. “It’s a forward-looking assessment of the trends that got us where we are today and those that will carry us into the future. But this is not just an economic development plan. This is an economic justice plan.”
SPEED was developed in consultation with TIP Strategies; VCU’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis; The M Companies; Hugh Helen LLC; input from meetings with more than 200 community and business leaders and stakeholders; and a survey that had more than 800 unique responses.
“The City’s new strategic plan for equitable economic development is a smart guide for how to grow our community,” said Jennifer Wakefield, President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership. “The plan addresses inequities further exacerbated by the pandemic and provides solutions to bring prosperity to our residents in the city and for all who call our region home.”
“The Metropolitan Business League is encouraged to see the aggressive measures incorporated into Mayor Stoney’s [economic development] strategic plan for the city. We, too, believe that a multi-pronged approach is a critical component in supporting minority businesses. MBL agrees with the city that launching creative new business models can help create greater opportunities for business ownership and wealth creation,” said Floyd E Miller II, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Business League. “We stand ready to collaborate with the city as it strives to close the gaps in economic disparities, achieve greater equity, and accelerate growth to create more opportunities for Richmonders.”
“SPEED gives Richmond a plan to increase General Fund revenue through sound initiatives to reduce economic inequities, retain and grow existing businesses, and attract new businesses to the City,” said City Council Vice President Ellen Robertson. “Essential to this is the emphasis on minority owned businesses, small businesses, and larger corporations.”
“Every day we see the impact of a City rife with inequities,” said City Councilmember Michael Jones. “The Strategic Plan for Equitable Economic Development (SPEED) is incredibly well crafted and will serve as a meaningful benchmark on our City’s path toward true equity. It seeks to address and offer solutions for many of the long-standing economic and social disparities experienced in our communities of color. If we have learned anything throughout this pandemic, it is that the City remains resilient. I am hopeful that SPEED will further our growth exponentially for years to come.”
“For our city’s future to be equitable, inclusive, and thriving, we must be intentional around our investment and economic development,” said City Councilmember Andreas Addison. “This plan outlines key tasks and priorities to address Richmond’s historical challenges in income, education, and housing gaps. I look forward to collaborating with the Mayor, the Administration, and my fellow Councilmembers to act on these priorities.”
For more information and to read the plan in full, visit https://www.rva.gov/economic-development/speed.