The Resource Agency history
- Agency history
- Biographical or historical data
- The Department of Business Assistance was created by act of the Virginia General Assembly in July of 1996. The impetus for its creation was a June 1994 economic planning initiative launched by Governor George F. Allen and known as Opportunity Virginia: A Strategic Plan for Jobs and Prosperity. The Opportunity Virginia initiative was intended to identify ways to strengthen and promote Virginia's economic development. In support of this mission, one task to be carried out during the planning portion of the initiative was the solicitation of opinions from business leaders, local and regional economic development professionals, elected officials, educators, and private citizens on the current state of the business community in Virginia.
- One major concern expressed during the Opportunity Virginia planning process was a general feeling in the business community that the Commonwealth was unresponsive to and largely neglectful of the needs of Virginia businesses. Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Robert T. Skunda noted, "a widespread perception among the existing business community that it was not getting its 'fair share' of attention." In response to this perception, a proposal in the governor's budget advocated the creation of a Department of Business Assistance to more effectively address the needs of businesses in Virginia. On 1 July 1996, the General Assembly of Virginia created the Virginia Department of Business Assistance and codified its existence through 2.2-900 (Code of Virginia). Upon the agency's creation, it and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership divided the activities of the then Virginia Department of Economic Development which was then disbanded.
- The Department of Business Assistance is intended to serve as a one-stop government clearinghouse for business resources, financing and small business assistance programs. It performs functions that were once spread out among several different departments and agencies. Its mission is to promote economic growth and development within the Commonwealth. To carry out this mission, the department works with new and existing businesses to provide workforce training and recruitment, loans, business information, procurement assistance, counseling, and educational opportunities for businesses. The Director of the Department of Business Assistance is appointed by the Governor and serves at his pleasure. In 1996, Governor Allen appointed David Dickson as the department's first director.
- Cataloging source
- Citation source
- Salmon, John S., comp. A GUIDE TO STATE RECORDS IN THE ARCHIVES BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1985
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