Happy Holidays to you and your family. I am thrilled to write to you given we are in the last month of 2020. I am happy to move on to 2021.
The Norfolk Innovation Corridor (NIC), in partnership with Norfolk Economic Development, officially launched on November 19, 2020. I serve on the Board of Directors and co-chair the Marketing subcommittee. As we described on the NIC website (www.norfolkinnovation.com), the NIC is a geographically defined technology zone. The NIC parallels the iconic Elizabeth River Trail. It extends from Norfolk State University to Old Dominion University including the medical center with Sentara/EVMS/CHKD, Fort Norfolk, Downtown Norfolk, Neon Arts District, Railyard District, Railroad District, Chelsea, and Harbor Park. It offers a tax incentive – abatement of the Business, Professional and Occupational License taxes (100% for 2 years; 50% for 3 years) with other proposed incentives under consideration (example: subsidized access to high-speed broadband and support for patents and commercialization.) The NIC is a “thriving technology zone supporting resilient products, services and technologies.” This dense cluster of business, technology, healthcare and other assets is a catalyst for business growth, new startups, and attracting and retaining talent. To learn more about who is involved, opportunities, services, leadership and more please visit our website noted above.
A big thank you goes to the Norfolk Elections team, led by Registrar Stephanie Iles, on a successful election. Early voting, the four satellite locations with varied hours, drop boxes and voting at City Hall all were great enhancements for this voting season. I want to THANK all volunteers who worked inside the precincts and voting locations throughout the election season. Turnout was strong and voting was safe.
Also thank you, Norfolk, for your continued adherence to masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, and other COVID-19 recommendations. While we are seeing the spike in Virginia and in our region, Norfolk is weathering this relatively well but we can’t relax our efforts. Our positivity rate is higher than desired but your continued attention to safety will serve us well as we head into the holiday season.
Cheers to 2021! Enjoy your holidays and ring in the New Year!