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Meet Our Business Partners and Supporters

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same; to help Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam ( For more information about the United State Small Business Administration Department, visit

City of Richmond’s Department of Economic Community Development – Office of Workforce Development

The Department of Economic & Community Development was formed in the fall of 2009 through the Mayor’s consolidation of the City’s Real Estate Services, Economic Development, Workforce Development and Housing and Neighborhood functions in order to create a more robust department. This merge has enabled the City to leverage its real property assets and federal fund resources to attract and develop more commercial enterprises, to better assist local ventures and to increase job growth and business development within the City’s commercial corridors. The key functions of Economic & Community Development (ECD) are: Business Development, which includes attraction and recruitment, retention and technical assistance services; Neighborhood and commercial revitalization; Workforce development. For more information about the City of Richmond’s Department of Economic Community Development –Office of Workforce Development, visit

The Virginia Department of Business Assistance (VDBA), created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1996, provides a one-stop-service for technical assistance related to business formation, access to capital, and workforce development. VDBA works with existing businesses as they grow their workforce and mentors entrepreneurs from ideas to launching their first business venture. The SLSB Business Development Center will collaborate with VDBA to sponsor programs tailored to the specific needs of our clients.

The Metropolitan Business League (MBL) --The Metropolitan Business League is a network of businesses that make every attempt to do business with small women and minority-owned businesses (SWAM).  MBL offers business development services that help businesses to secure public and private opportunities.  Those services include individual business development plans tailored to meet the specific needs of the business.  The organization provides training and technical assistance, workshops, seminars, and one-on-one counseling to improve members’ skill sets and opportunities for success.  Some of MBL’s signature events include “Lunch with a Buyer”, “Doing Business with…”, and our acclaimed “Women Who Mean Business” Summit.  The SLSB Business Development Center will partner with MBL to achieve mutually beneficial goals and objectives.

The Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit business membership association with more than 1,200 members and a professional staff of 22, is a catalyst for business development and the voice of business in Greater Richmond. The Chambers connects its members to the people, information and resources that give individual business the competitive advantage it needs to grow, in every economy, so that the Richmond region can become a better place to live, work and play. Its footprint includes nine jurisdictions: City of Richmond, the Counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Goochland, Hanover, New Kent and Charles City, and the Town of Ashland.

With a commitment to creating value-added membership opportunities and benefits, the Chamber works to create a business climate that attracts new businesses and enhances growth and expansion opportunities for existing businesses. Additionally, the Chamber understands the need for strong workforce and business development initiatives. Thus, it’s Small Business and Workforce Development centers provide training and consulting to small business owners throughout the region. For more information about the Greater Richmond Chamber, visit

AdvanTech is a non-profit, small business incubator designed to foster companies that are in the second stage of business development. In 1999, the Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond, in cooperation with the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Business Assistance, contributed resources to create the first small business incubator in the Greater Richmond area. Extensive renovations and upgrades were completed in order to prepare the building for the demands of growing companies.

The Division of Title III Administration and Sponsored Programs/Research at Virginia Union University provide services and support to Virginia Union University (VUU) faculty and staff seeking outside funding for projects of benefit to the VUU community. The division disseminates information concerning appropriate funding opportunities and offers guidance to the campus community in the development and submission of proposals and in the negotiation and finalization of grants and contracts. Further, it assists with various administrative issues arising from extramurally funded projects and acts as the liaison with the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects for projects funded through grants and contracts. The division is committed to augmenting institutional resources in order to enhance VUU’s research and educational programming. Through a coordinated effort to match VUU’s faculty and staff with extramural sponsors, the division functions as a catalyst in transforming the creativity of the VUU community into the actuality of funded research, training, and technical assistance projects. For more information about the Division of Title III Administration and Sponsored Programs/Research, visit:

Founded in 1964, SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small business start, grow and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE is headquartered in Herndon, VA and Washington, DC and has 350 chapters throughout the United States and its territories, with over 13,000 volunteers nationwide. Both working and retired executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors (
For more information about SCORE or about becoming a volunteer, visit