Mayor Dwight C. Jones today accepted the Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) magazine Best Small American City of the Future award for the city of Richmond, during the fDi American Cities of the Future 2011/12 awards ceremony in Washington, DC. Joining the Mayor in accepting the award was city’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Economic and Community Development Peter Chapman, city’s Director of Economic and Community Development Lee Downey and the President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce Kim Scheeler.
Mayor Jones said, “This is a timely award as it not only reassures us that we are moving in the right direction, it also validates the recent CNBC ranking of Virginia being the top state in the nation to do business. It is a reflection of the dynamic local economy of Virginia’s capital city, as we have embraced economic development as a core foundational service and we are committed to maintaining an international focus.”
“It also bears emphasis that our urban character contributes to our economic growth: we have livable, walkable neighborhoods that help attract and retain an eclectic, educated and diverse workforce. Our plan for success includes partnering with our nationally renowned universities, developing innovative business programs that enhance our competitive position, investing in infrastructure to support initiatives including a multi-modal transportation plan, and making strategic investments to develop tomorrow’s workforce,” said Mayor Jones.
“This awards ceremony recognized places from around the United States and the globe, and we are proud to see the city of Richmond named the best small city of the future out of that type of competition,” said Scheeler. “The rest of the world is starting to find out what the Fortune 1000 companies located here already know; that Richmond is the best small city to do business, has one of the best small city strategies, and is tops in business friendliness.”
This is the first time the city of Richmond has received this award distinction. The city also ranked third for Top Small Cities fDi Strategy and fifth overall for Small Cities Business Friendliness. According to the judging panel, the city of Richmond and Huntsville (Alabama) had the best fDi strategy among small cities. The rankings are based on each city’s population range, with small cities being in between 100,000 and 250,000 residents.