Profile: Richmond, Virginia

This historic city has a small-town feel.
By: Jennifer Willis
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Population: 200,000

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Major Airport: Richmond International Airport

Companies With a Major Presence Here: Fortune 500 companies: Altria, Dominion Resources, Circuit City, Genworth Financial, Performance Food Group, CarMAX, Brink’s Company, Universal Corporation, Massey Energy, Albemarle.

Additional Companies With a Strong Presence: Reynolds Metals, Federal Reserve Bank, Capital One Financial Corporation, SunTrust Banks Incorporated, McKesson, Universal Corporation, Philip Morris USA, DuPont, Qimonda, MeadeWestvaco, The United Network for Organ Sharing, Ukrops.

The City of Richmond may have been established prior to even the foundation of the United States, but there is very little that is “old” about Richmond. The city embraces its history with enthusiasm and sensitivity—even in the face of controversy—and celebrates its own brand of Southern charm, but Richmond is also forward-thinking and constantly pushing the envelope.

The state capital of Virginia, Richmond is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies and a number of centers for higher education—including Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU Medical Center, Virginia Union University and the University of Richmond. The city also boasts a Federal Reserve and the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, an incubator facility for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Once a financial center, Richmond lost many of its banking institutions to Charlotte, N.C. Richmond is economically strong because of its diverse mix of businesses; the city is not wholly dependent on any one industry and remains fairly resilient even during national downturns. It is this diversity that makes Richmond an ideal model city and test market.

The city abounds with outdoor festivals and is a strong supporter of both visual and performing arts. Richmond can be niche-oriented, with a host of thriving communities catering to different interests and attitudes, but Richmond as a whole is often described as a “big small town”: In this city of nearly 200,000 people, it’s difficult to go anywhere without running into someone you know.

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