Economic Development


Continually design and implement a comprehensive program to expand business, foster entrepreneurship, attract investment, and market Stafford County.

Who Are We?

The Department serves as the customer service and marketing are for Stafford County business clients. We do so by building partnerships with our internal team members, existing businesses, regional partner agencies, the Commonwealth, and beyond. These relationships help us develop programs for sustainable community economic development. Daily, the Department facilitates and responds to opportunities for business investments while working towards mid and long-term strategic objectives. Our focus is characterized by what we do:

Expand Business

  • Focusing on existing business, conducting regular business visits (Business Retention and Expansion {BRE}).
  • Encourage entrepreneurship and business innovation – connect business leaders with new collaborators, facilitate new business startups and design new programs and events to foster the "acceleration" of startups and existing businesses to their "next level."

Attract Investment

  • Respond to new business "leads" and generate our own based on our targeted business sectors.
  • Strive to attract visitors (tourism) to Stafford to enjoy Stafford’s history, sports competitions, and quality of life (part of Tourism Program but integrated with Department).
  • Encourage and respond to opportunities to attract tourism events and new developments and investments in community assets for residents that may also attract visitors to Stafford (part of Tourism Program but integrated with Department).
  • Attract new private development matching the needs of new and expanding target sectors. Focus on logistics, distribution, e-commerce, cyber and technology expansions to Stafford County. We also work with developers to secure commercial and mixed-use developments in Healthy Growth and Downtown Stafford priorities.

Market Stafford County (the Message)

  • Promote and communicate that Stafford is the place for business in the new NOVA.
  • Market Stafford as a place to visit, spend time, shop, and move your family or business.

Enhance Stafford’s Tools and Infrastructure

  • Identify and seek out funds to build “shovel ready” sites for expanding or creating new businesses.
  • Encourage capital investment (private and public) for physical infrastructure to support business and community projects.
  • Advise and assist in improving our human infrastructure in Economic Development and Tourism (ED&T) and across County government to improve customer service, permit processes, and staff development.
  • Continue to refine and recommend incentives for business growth and expansion.
  • Restructure to reduce impacts to Service Levels, including Retention Visits, “walk-in” services, and leads utilizing additional “online” services and customer services.

Since taking all of our marketing plans and implementation “in-house,” we have made significant advancements in how we market Stafford. This year's metrics reflect those changes. We have shifted our metrics (Service Level) to account for expanded online presence. What was "Assist Walkins" is now "New Business Inquiries" to reflect our increased marketing and online presence (this still includes "walk-ins").

Budget Summary

Note: FY2021 Actuals include funding to support local businesses and Economoic Development activity in response to COVID

$753,059 for Restaurant Gift Card program

$2,196,802 CARES Act supported projects

Funded Positions

Notable Changes


  • 4.5% Pay Scale Adjustment
  • 2.0% Salary Increase
  • 2.13% increase in Virginia Retirement System Rate
  • .03% decrease in the Virginia Retiree Health Insurance Credit Rate

  • Copier for TestBed
  • Fixed contract increases
  • Economic Development Strategic Plan marketing enhancements
  • Increase training
  • ARPA funds to implement a new workforce development initiative in the region by the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board ($38,221)


The Department continues to implement its plan based upon the 2015 Economic Growth Strategy. The following Goals/Objectives were identified as “Measurable Actions” in our Implementation Plan and updated quarterly in our quarterly summary reports. The titles and numbers below have been modified to match the Strategy and Implementation Plan.

  • The Department regularly meets with existing Stafford businesses to assess their needs and opportunities. This is standard BRE practice (“customer service”) and helps identify opportunities to assist and expand businesses. (Service level 1)
  • Based on BRE visits, we anticipate taking additional time and resources to facilitate business expansion projects per fiscal year (targeted at 10 per year). (Service level 2)
  • The Department (with EDA support) designs and implements programs to encourage business start-ups and entrepreneurship. Assist or facilitate 15 business startups per fiscal year. (Service level 3
  • Assist 500 business “walk ins” to the ED&T Office per fiscal year. We are exploring the use of different electronic systems to provide this assistance. (Service level 4)
  • Working with our economic development partners, the Department will submit 40 new business proposals to encourage new business to Stafford County. (Service level 5)
  • The Department will expand its business attraction efforts to identify 10 new business prospects and “leads.” (Service level 6)
  • Based on our partner and our new business outreach efforts, the Department aims to facilitate and complete five (5) new business projects per fiscal year. (Service level 7)
  • Expand and continue to improve our overall marketing efforts. (Service levels 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12)
  • Publish 12 newsletters per fiscal year. (Service levels 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12)
  • The online marketing levels below (historical and goals) have been adjusted to account for more detailed and accurate online metrics. Our marketing effort also includes (and are some of the most impactful) our own (EDA) events and presence at targeted programs and seminars for our target markets. (Service Levels 9 and 10)

Service Level for Economic Development