With a built-in and specialized workforce fueled by our military and higher education institutions, the deepest natural harbor on the East Coast, and located just a day’s drive from 40 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 128 million customers), Norfolk is a prime location for any business. Courtney knows encouraging economic growth in our city and our region starts with supporting and retaining the employers we already have — both big and small — as well as positioning ourselves as an undeniable option to new and prospective businesses and their employees.

Taking advantage of opportunities like the super-high-speed broadband cabling coming to Virginia will give local employers like the U.S. Military, Port of Virginia, and healthcare entities like Sentara, CHKD, and EVMS the edge they need to stay productive, competitive, and innovative, as well as entice game-changing companies like ADP, IKEA, and even Amazon to continue to consider our city as their next home base. Safeguarding our amenities and attractions against threats like flooding and sea level rise will also spur innovation, and go a long way in keeping the largest naval base in the world here for another 100 years.

As important as these giant job-generators are to Norfolk, fostering small business and start-up growth is also top of mind for Courtney. Taking cues from such successful homespun programs as Vibrant Spaces, she’ll be the first to press Council for progressive ideas on incentives that will give more entrepreneurs the confidence to start or expand their ventures.

She’ll turn her attention to empowering workforce development initiatives throughout the city as well, partnering with employers and our high schools and higher education institutions to instill in our students the skills they need — for the jobs here in Hampton Roads that need them.

Courtney also believes that as strong as Norfolk is on its own in courting and keeping the best and brightest, taking a regionalized approach to economic development makes us even more formidable. If elected, she’ll continue to champion open lines of communication with other area cities in an effort to pool our collective resources, experience, and amenities into an offering that’s tough for any business to ignore.