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Economic Development

The creation of jobs and wealth through expansions of existing companies and the attraction of new business activity has been the heart of Virginia’s long-term prosperity, as well as prosperity in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Virginia operates in the most competitive region of the nation for economic development, the Southeast. This fact, coupled with continually changing economic times and the constant emergence of new technology, demands that Virginia and Harrisonburg and Rockingham County have a flexible and forceful economic development posture. The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce believes that an aggressive, steadfast, and sophisticated economic development program is crucial to Virginia's and our community’s success. The Chamber also believes that such a program is best conceived through a highly cooperative and supportive partnership between the public sector and the business community.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber supports the following:

  • Strong and persistent support for a well-funded, cohesive, and aggressive economic development effort by the Commonwealth and within the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County community;

  • A business incentives policy aligned with Virginia’s time-honored sense of fiscal discipline that is applied evenhandedly to existing and prospective businesses;

  • Recognition that a skilled, trainable, and technically competent labor force is the most persuasive location factor sought by industry today, and the implementation of programs and policies to achieve such a workforce in our region.

  • A regulatory climate that is consistent, predictable, fair and understood by the regulated community as well as responsive to the needs of new and existing businesses.

  • Protection of Virginia’s business climate as one that is uniquely attractive to business and conducive to expanded business activity by both new and existing companies;

  • A balanced economic development approach that acknowledges the value of all segments of our economy, including, but not limited to, technology development, foreign trade, tourism, and small business;

  • Enhanced focus on retaining and developing Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industry;

  • Affirmation of the role of the private sector in contributing to and affecting Virginia’s competitiveness and its marketing capability; and

  • More appreciation for Virginia’s diverse regions and the need for a more cohesive statewide perspective - one that is sensitive to the needs of urban and rural Virginia.

  • Attention to business trends and their impact on the Shenandoah Valley Region, Virginia, and the nation

  • Local initiatives, either public-or-private sector driven, to improve the competitive economic position of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County area in relation to the Shenandoah Valley and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • A focused and aggressive marketing program by the City and County to increase interest from new and existing employers.  A local business incentive policy, working in conjunction with State incentives, to maintain a diversified economic base and attract higher-paying jobs within targeted industry sectors.

  • Recognition and support of the important role of the higher educational sector to the local economy.


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