February 2021 Business Roundtable
31 members of the Williamsburg business community tuned in for the February 2021 Virtual Business Roundtable. Our speakers were Terry Banez, CEO of the Greater Williamsburg Business Council and Von Gilbreath, Executive Director of the Greater Williamsburg Partnership. They provided an update an overview of the two organizations and the work they do to make Williamsburg a great place to do business.
Miss the session? Watch the February 2021 Roundtable Recording.
January 2021 Business Roundtable
40 members of the Williamsburg business community tuned in for the January 2021 Virtual Business Roundtable. Our speaker was Adria Vanhoozier, Hospital President of Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg. She provided an overview of the Hospital's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and an update on vaccine distribution in the Greater Williamsburg Area.
The December 2019 Business Roundtable
The December 2019 Business Roundtable was held at the Williamsburg Community Building (401 N. Boundary Street) and was catered by Aromas. Our speaker was Lara Overy, Commissioner of the Revenue for the City of Williamsburg. She was elected in November 2017 and began her 4-year term on January 1, 2018. In her short term as Commissioner of Revenue, Ms. Overy has improved processes, implemented an audit program and increased compliance resulting in additional revenue for the City. She is passionate about ensuring that all businesses are reporting accurately and being fairly taxed. In her presentation she shared information about recent changes to tax reporting procedures for local businesses as well as an update on the 2020 census.
Notable changes in the Commissioner's office in 2020:
- New Business License Software
- Updated Business License renewal form
- Updated Business Licenses
- Online Meal, Room & Lodging tax coupons
For more information on the Commissioner of the Revenue's office, upcoming changes to tax reporting and updates on the 2020 Census, check out Ms. Overy's December 2019 Business Roundtable Presentation.
The October 2019 Business Roundtable
The October 2019 Business Roundtable was held at the Williamsburg Community Building at 401 N. Boundary Street and was catered by the Cheese Shop. Our speaker was John Martin, a futurist, award-winning author, and President and CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research (most commonly referred to as S-I-R). SIR is a 55-year old strategic consultancy based in Richmond that helps businesses, non-profit organizations, governmental and educational institutions, and even entire regions conduct market research, understand trends, and formulate winning strategies.
Mr. Martin's presentation covered an explanation and outline of the RVA-Hampton Roads Megaregion Collaborative. This collaborative is an inclusive, mutually supportive network of leaders representing community, business and higher education. They work to identify, support and advance major opportunities, initiatives and projects that will meaningfully benefit our communities for generations to come. If you would like to learn more about the collaborative, see Mr. Martin's October Business Roundtable Presentation.
The September 2019 Business Roundtable
The September Business Roundtable was hosted at the Williamsburg Community Building and catered by Manhattan Bagel. Our speaker was Steve Cook, Vice President of Workforce Innovation for the Hampton Roads Workforce Council. Mr. Cook has over 20 years of both local and regional Economic Development experience and provided for us an update on the Southeastern Virginia Regional Workforce Collaborative, a partnership between the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and the Greater Peninsula Workforce Board.
Mr. Cook shared information on the Hampton Roads Talent Alignment Strategy, an effort hosted in collaboration with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and ReInvent Hampton Roads. This work is being done to ensure education and workforce development efforts are aligned with the needs of employers and to coordinate existing education and workforce development initiatives underway throughout the region.
If you would like to learn more about the work being done by the Southeastern Virginia Regional Workforce Collaborative, see Mr. Cook's Presentation.
The August 2019 Business Roundtable
The August Roundtable took place at the Williamsburg Community Building and was catered by Manhattan Bagel. Our speaker was Graham Henshaw, Executive Director of the William & Mary Entrepreneurship Center. The topic of the luncheon was "Launchpad and William & Mary Entrepreneurship Center Both Move Locations and Join Forces in Tribe Square.
Mr. Henshaw noted several times in the presentation that this merge is not just a priority for the Entrepreneurship Center, but for the University as a whole. The impetus behind the project comes all the way from the top -- from University President Katherine Rowe. This has allowed the new entrepreneurship center to do unprecedented things in welcoming the Launchpad into its community. This includes providing all Launchpad clients with a William & Mary ID card, which will get them access to a multitude of tools and resources on campus.
The new Launchpad & Entrepreneurship Center plans to engineer and manufacture "collisions" between the students and the entrepreneurs, hoping to blur the lines between the two in the "Hub" (the main center of activity for the venture).
The Entrepreneurship Center's eight elements of focus will also hopefully benefit the clients of the Launchpad:
For more information on the project, visit the William & Mary Website.
The July 2019 Business Roundtable
The EDA's July Business Roundtable was hosted at Quarterpath Recreation Center and catered by Qdoba Mexican Grille. Our speaker was Danny Plaugher, Executive Director of Virginians for High Speed Rail, and his presentation was titled "Transportation and a Changing Virginia".
Highlights from the presentation:
- Virginians for High Speed Rail is a non-profit coalition of citizens, businesses, localities and community groups that educate and advocate for the expansion of fast, frequent, and reliable intercity rail service. They were founded in 1994 as a partnership between the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the Future of Hampton Roads.
- "Virginia is changing and our transportation challenges are increasing". Between 1990 and 2017, Virginia's population increased by 36.9%, our road network increased by 13%, our highways increased by 12%, and access to flights decreased by 30.8%.
- Since 2000, passenger rail is the fastest growing mode of transportation in Hampton Roads (cars: 6%, plans: 8%, trains: 17%)
- .The Williamsburg station averages 61,000 trips a year with ridership up 44% over the last decade. It generates about $8 million in tourism spending annually and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 5.8 million pounds each year.
The June 2019 Business Roundtable
The June 2019 Business Roundtable was hosted at and catered by Revolution Golf and Grille. Our speaker was Tracy Grey, Manager of the Williamsburg Farmers Market (WFM). The topic of the luncheon was "Williamsburg Farmers Market: Cultivating Community Around Food". Some fun facts from the presentation:
- The Williamsburg Farmers Market is a collaboration between the City of Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, the Merchants Square Association, the Williamsburg Land Conservancy and William & Mary.
- The Market's first season began in July 2002 with just 16 vendors.
- In its 17 seasons, the WFM has produced $14.5 million in vendor sales.
- The market boasts 81 varieties of produce, and averages about 4,871 visitors each day.
- In 2018, 366 volunteer hours were put forward to help make the market run.
Missed the roundtable? No worries. Here is Ms. Frey's Williamsburg Farmers Market Presentation.
The May 2019 Business Roundtable
Our May 2019 Business Roundtable was hosted at Quarterpath Recreation Center, and attendees enjoyed a BBQ Taco & Sandwich Bar by Old City BBQ. Our speaker was Terry Walker with SCORE. Mr. Walker is a business development strategist with extensive experience in team-building, change management, sales process, execution, negotiations, CRM and e-commerce. His areas of expertise include sales, marketing, web-based marketing, finance and warehouse & distribution operations. He uses his background and expertise in his volunteer capacity at SCORE, helping new businesses start and existing businesses grow. Some highlights from his presentation:
- SCORE was established in 1965 in partnership with the Small Business Administration to help small businesses. They (1) provide free, confidential business advice and mentoring, (2) offer low or no-cost business training through seminars and webinars and (3) share free business templates and resources. The Williamsburg chapter of SCORE was established in 1985.
- Williamsburg SCORE has over 25 local volunteer mentors with various business expertise including Business Start-Ups, Sales, Non-Profits, Finance, Manufacturing, Human Resources, Marketing, Customer Service, Business Plans, Strategic Planning, Operations, Research & Development, Electronics, Import/Export, Retail/Restaurant/Breweries, and more. These mentors each come from highly skilled backgrounds and have a wealth of knowledge to share.
- SCORE is able to help Pre-Startups and Startups by confidentially reviewing business ideas, helping to create a detailed business plan, provide advice on business negotiations and provide coaching through pre-finance preparations.
- SCORE can help existing businesses by confidentially reviewing and evaluating individual business situations and help identify new markets and attract new customers.
- In just the past 3 years, SCORE has helped 20 non-profits get up and running in the Williamsburg area.
Mr. Walker shared that Williamsburg is a special place, and has so many passionate people with entrepreneurial spirits. Many clients approach SCORE with a "weekend business" that has grown and developed so much that they want help turning it into a profitable full-time business. SCORE is located right downtown in the City of Williamsburg inside the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance building at 421 North Boundary St. They are available to answer any and all questions, anything from "What is an LLC and how do I register as one?" to "I've been been steadily growing every year for 10 years but I've stalled out, how do I jump start growth again?" to "Should I even stay in business?" If you would like to contact SCORE, visit their website to make an appointment or sign up for a mentor. Terry Walker Photo
The April 2019 Business Roundtable
The April 2019 business roundtable was held at and catered by the Best Western Williamsburg Hotel Historic District. This roundtable was hosted jointly with James City County Economic Development. Our speaker was Jenny Connors of the Williams Mullins Group, speaking on "How to Benefit from Opportunity Zones". Ms. Connors shared with attendees some background on Opportunity Zones as part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act as well as some proposed regulations. She explained some of the potential tax benefits of opportunity zones, as well as examples of how the incentive may be used. This is a complicated topic, and you can find out more by checking out Ms. Connor's Yes Virginia Opportunity Zone Presentation here.
The March 2019 Business Roundtable
The March 2019 Business Roundtable was attended by 71 members of the business community and hosted by the City of Williamsburg in the Community Building located at 401 N Boundary St. The lunch was catered by Berrets Seafood Restaurant & Taphouse Grill. Lisa Pacheco, Director of Sports Development for Sports Williamsburg, provided an update on Sports Williamsburg's growth and plans for the future. Some highlights from her presentation:
- Sports Williamsburg was formed in 2010 and is run by a community-driven operating board with members from area Parks & Recreation; Lodging, Dining & Attractions partners; the College of William & Mary and our local High Schools.
- The organization has a $100,000 grant budget to help attract tournaments and sporting events to the area.
- Its mission is to establish Williamsburg as a top 5, year-round sports destination within Virginia.
- In 2019 there are 74 sporting events planned with events occurring each month, making Williamsburg a year-round sports destination. These events have a potential economic impact of over $9 million between the City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County.
- One new event this year is the Ironman Virginia 70.3 on Sunday, May 5th. The race was restricted to 2,100 registered athletes and sold out within 2 weeks. Expected Economic Impact is $1.5 million.
Missed out on the presentation? No worries! We've got Lisa Pacheco's Sports Williamsburg Presentation for you right here.
The February 2019 Business Roundtable
The February 2019 Business Roundtable was hosted at and catered by the Best Western Historic District. Roy Pearson, Chancellor of Business Emeritus of the William & Mary Mason School of Business, provided the Williamsburg Business Community with his annual Economic Outlook for the year. You can find his 2019 Economic Outlook Presentation here.
The January 2019 Roundtable
On January 8, 2019, eighty members of the Williamsburg business community gathered at the Williamsburg Community Building to hear from Terry Banez, Interim Executive Director of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance. Lunch was catered by Second Street Bistro.
Prior to her position at GWCTA, Ms. Banez worked as Director of Trade Strategy and Operations for Newell Brands (Yankee Candle Company Division) leading over $300 million in businesses. She has a strong background of regional community involvement including serving on the Board for the United Way of Greater Williamsburg, the Board and Executive Committee for the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, Wounded Warriors Project, Habitat for Humanity and many other community organizations.
Ms. Banez shared with the audience an update on changes to the Chamber & Tourism alliance in 2018, including Senate Bill 942 establishing the Tourism Council and enacting a 1% sales tax (excluding groceries), 50% of which goes to the localities and 50% of which goes to Tourism. With the passing of this bill, GWCTA reorganized into two councils: The Business Council and The Tourism Council. Ms. Banez further shared with the group her goals for the organization moving forward, including the Business Council's 2019 mission: "Serving, representing and enhancing business growth and success in the Greater Williamsburg area".
Here you can find a copy of the January 2019 Business Roundtable Presentation.