Economic Development

Choose Gloucester: The Land of Life Worth Living

Beautiful Gloucester County is centrally positioned between the major metro areas of Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Washington, DC. Our labor force of 20k workers includes college students, military spouses, and retiring military personnel. The major thoroughfare Route 17 has 37k drivers per day, and Gloucester is near three international airports. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, we have hundreds of miles of shoreline and access to the country's most active shipping terminals. Award-winning schools offer technical and college prep classes, and we are home to Rappahannock Community College and William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science. You'll find affordable land here, and real estate taxes among the lowest in the region.

Gloucester strives to be a community "open for business" with a welcoming and positive business-friendly attitude. Our mission is to promote and improve the economic health and quality of life in Gloucester. Whether you're starting, expanding, or relocating your business, be it manufacturing, retail, small or home-based business, the Economic Development Department is here for you!

  1. News

Candice Smith shares her presentation My Method to Marketing. Photo by Hoyt Davenport

Candice Smith, VP of the local non-profit Connected Communities, presented "My Method to Marketing" to a full house at the September 25 Home Based-Business Lunch & Learn. Ms. Smith spoke about the five facets of her marketing strategy: identifying the product/service, the message, the audience, delivery, and budget. All these considerations need to be addressed before approaching design. She shared her approach to branding Connected Communities, choosing an aesthetic that is clean and professional, but with an approachable softness. She recommends the marketing and design platform Canva, which offers templates, stock photos, and drag-and-drop design tools.

Ms. Smith spoke in depth about maximizing social media marketing. Her tips included targeting your audience and scheduling posts for maximum visibility. She reviewed various platforms and went over Facebook's algorithm for distributing content. To increase your business's visibility, be a conversation starter, stay active without spamming, time your posts, use video content, and use analytics to track performance. Plus, consider using hashtags to expand content reach and emojis to personalize and connect.

Cathy Slider, owner of York River Business Advisors, was among the two dozen entrepreneurs who came to learn and network. She said of the event, "There was such healthy energy in there, and I learned some good things. It was just what I needed." If you missed the talk, it will be screened on Cox 48 TV daily at 6:30am, 1:30pm, 9:30pm, and 2:30am, and is available to watch online below.

  1. Upcoming Events

Free Business Consulting Appointments
October 17, November 21, and December 19 by appointment
Gloucester Library, 6920 Main St, Gloucester

Smart Shopping for Your Business| Home Based Business Lunch & Learn
October 23, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Bay Transit Center Conference Room, 5959 Fiddlers Green Rd, Gloucester
Internet marketer Dorothy Bayford will share her approach to smart shopping for businesses. Attendees are encouraged to bring a packed lunch, and additional refreshments will be provided. RSVP.

Art as a Business Workshop
November 1, 7:30am-10:00am
Main Street Center, 6882 Main St, Gloucester
This breakfast lecture will focus on embracing and understanding the business side of selling your art. Featured speaker Marc Willson is a Small Business Strategist and well-known presenter. He will share how to engage your collector, build your brand and social media presence, write business plans and artist statements, and more. This free event is presented by Gloucester Economic Development, the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center, and the Gloucester Main Street Association. RSVP.

Quickbooks Quick and Dirty | Home Based Business Lunch & Learn
November 13, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Bay Transit Center Conference Room, 5959 Fiddlers Green Rd, Gloucester
Karen Burtnette of By the Book, Inc. will present Quickbooks Quick and Dirty: Tips on Proper Bookkeeping. This is a free educational and networking event for small and home-based business owners. The November meeting is part of the regional Lunch & Learn Series presented by York County, Williamsburg, James City County, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, and Gloucester County. RSVP.

Selling Online | Home Based Business Lunch & Learn
December 18, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Bay Transit Center Conference Room, 5959 Fiddlers Green Rd, Gloucester
Peace Frogs entrepreneur Catesby Jones will share his expertise selling goods on online platforms like Amazon. RSVP.

Home-Based Business Conference 2020
March 20, 2020, 8:00am-4:00pm
Peninsula Workforce Development Center, 600 Butler Farm Road, Hampton
This unique event features a resource fair with over 20 exhibitors, as well as conference sessions and specialty breakout talks focused on topics relevant to all stages and types of home-based businesses. Whether you are thinking of starting a new home-based business, or have operated a traditional, franchise, or direct marketing home-based business for years, this event is for you! Topics include Cybersecurity, Insurance, Taxes, Legal Matters, Networking Tips, and Marketing. There will be networking sessions, a raffle, plus professional headshots available for $25. Applications for exhibitor tables are also open. The conference is a collaborative initiative of the Virginia Peninsula. Get tickets.

For more information, contact

  1. Resources

Business Incentives

During the initial four years of this program, we have approved and awarded 149 grants in the amount of $245,617.00. Private investment totals $6,213,747.00 from new and expanding businesses.

  • Property Improvement
  • Façade Improvement
  • Advertising
  • Website Design & Development

Free Business Consulting

Jim Carroll, executive director of the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center, is Gloucester for private consulting appointments every month! Meetings are free and held at the Gloucester Library on Main Street. Contact Lucy to schedule an appointment.

Monthly e-Newsletter

Sign up for Business Monthly e-News today for the latest department updates, local business news and awards, upcoming events, entrepreneur training opportunities, available properties, and more! Read recent issues: July | Aug | Sept | Oct

Business Directory

An up-to-date and comprehensive directory of small businesses in Gloucester County! Whether you are looking for a great lunch, a haircut, or a veterinarian, you will find it here. Please contact us  with any updates or additions.


Read why Gloucester is the perfect place for your business.

Opportunity Zone
  1. Opportunity Zone

Gloucester County is one of the 212 sites that the U.S. Department of Treasury designated as Virginia's Qualified Opportunity Zones. The Opportunity Zone covers Gloucester Point up to Ordinary, Virginia as seen on the map to your left. For information on the opportunity zone in Gloucester County please click here.  

For general information on Opportunity Zones please click here.

Gloucester County Annual Report

Annual Report 2018
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