April 2021 Newsletter


CEO Update


The sun is out and Spring is in full bloom, and so are some exciting economic developments in the Gateway Region. As prospect activity increases, we’re encouraged that people are looking at our Region for business expansion opportunities. With the Governor’s recent announcement to move into phase one of reopening, we now have a clear and consistent recovery plan that is both consumer and business driven.

In April, VGR welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors: C. Eric Fly, Sr. of the County of Sussex and Chris Gullickson from the Port of Virginia! VGR is fortunate to have both Eric and Chris join our Board with fresh and extensive perspectives.

Lastly, speaking of reopening, VGR had a great time celebrating in person the Tri-City Chili Peppers at Shepherd Stadium on April 21 with the Business Council. If you are interested in joining the Business Council, please contact me at: (804) 732-8971 or Or, you can also contact Amy Everett at: (804) 704-0268 or


Business Council Meets for First In-Person Social Since Pandemic


The weather is changing, and there is a feeling of hope and optimism after a very long year. What better way to celebrate than at the ballfield!

VGR held its first Business Council event of 2021 on Wednesday, April 21 in Colonial Heights at the historic Shepherd Stadium. The stadium is home to The Tri-City Chili Peppers, who will be making their Coastal Plain League (CPL) debut this summer. CPL is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league, and the Chili Peppers will be bringing good times and great games to the Gateway Region.

Those who joined us had a chance to see all the improvements at the stadium and enjoyed in-person networking! Blaze, the Chili Peppers’ mascot, was also in attendance and participants had a chance to meet and have their photo taken with Blaze. We also enjoyed some tried-and-true ballpark treats (shout-out to The Virgina Diner for supplying the delicious peanuts).


Gateway Beautification


Progress is being made throughout the Gateway Region’s towns, cities and urban areas to improve visual aesthetics. In Hopewell, downtown murals are being unveiled. And the Town of Waverly is in the process of giving itself a facelift to clean up under appreciated buildings. Both of these projects will make these residential centers more appealing to the citizens who live there and to people looking for new business opportunities.

VGR thought you would enjoy hearing directly from our beautification thought leaders as to the progress being made in their communities.


“We’re all about the positive,” said Mayor Angela McPhaul. “We’re considering several options for how to best use that space now, with a focus on making it both useful and beautiful – something to make local citizens proud and to encourage all the thousands of people from all over who drive by daily aware of the ongoing revitalization of Waverly, Va. Because that’s how you promote pride in the town for those of us who live here, and interest in the town from people looking for an opportunity and a place to start new businesses. That’s how you bring in jobs and increased opportunities for everyone.”


“Downtown is looking fresh! Artist Marshall Higgins painted a custom, fade wall for Roja that is visible from E. City Point Rd., E. Poythress St. and Hopewell St. and is making quite an impact” — The Hopewell Downtown Partnership

This mural was made possible through The Hopewell Downtown Partnership’s pilot "Small Business Marketing Program" with the City's Economic Development team and funded through the CARES Act.


Nico Cathcart — Excerpt of Artist’s Statement on “A New Dawn”: “Hopewell is situated in a unique place where the James River and Appomattox River merge. It was an advantageous spot for early industry, which used the rivers for easy transportation. In this design, two women from different backgrounds, dressed in glittering blue are symbols for the rivers. The merging of two different people echoes the river connection, but also operates as a metaphor for community. Both women have a silk shawl, also a lighter blue, which is a nod to the artificial Silk Factory that used to operate in Hopewell. Behind the women is a scene from the river, showing the industrial buildings of Dupont. The positioning of the factories, being behind the figures, is meant to note that the industry is part of the history of the town, in the past. The figures themselves look up and forward towards a newer Hopewell, which is a creative community working together.”


Davis Oil Expands into Prince George County with new Davis Travel Center

A new Davis Travel Center recently opened its doors in Prince George County on the intersection located at 5803 Prince George Dr. In total, this is a $4 million investment creating 35 new jobs in the Gateway Region. The site is 10,000 square feet, completed with 7,000 square feet dedicated to the convenience store, a Subway and a Little Caesars, and 3,000 square feet is being dedicated to a Wendy’s in addition to dine-in seating.


More News from April 

How Richmond and Petersburg can become leaders in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing — Petersburg

Selected Virginia Wins (Pg. 6) — Gateway Region

From Boots to the Boardroom (Pg. 62) — Fort Lee

Virginia State University to receive $1 million to train STEM teachers — Gateway Region

Artificial Intelligence startup EDai to help Virginia's Gateway bring business to Central Virginia — Gateway Region

Young Startup Partners with Oldest Regional Economic Development Organization in Virginia — Gateway Region

The Environment – Our Gift and Responsibility — Port of Virginia

Waverly gets a facelift — Sussex 

John Randolph awards nearly $400K in grants to nonprofits — Hopewell

Love of teaching + farming = agricultural hope — Surry

While other stores closed their doors, Colonial Heights boutique opened and thrived — Colonial Heights

COVID-365: This boss gave workers bonuses, extra vacation during the pandemic — Prince George

Double B farms wins highest peanut yield in county — Dinwiddie


Show us Love on Social Media

Please follow VGR on LinkedIn (@Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization), Facebook (@VAGatewayRegion) & Twitter (@VAGatewayRegion) to keep up with all the latest VGR happenings! 


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