Economic Development News
 a publication from the Charlottesville Office of Economic Development                                             July 2011
Charlottesville Landscape


The Jefferson School Project is getting underway and a groundbreaking is due for early September!  

Great Harvest BreadA Charlottesville branch of the Great Harvest Bread Co., a company that specializes in handmade whole grain breads, opened this June. This company has approximately 225 locations in 46 states, including several bakeries in Northern Virginia. Great Harvest Bread Co. grinds high quality wheat into flour daily and then blends the flour with natural ingredients, like yeast, salt and honey to make loaves of bread that are both delicious and healthy. Great Harvest never uses chemicals or additives while making their bread and each loaf ends up weighing more than two pounds.


The Charlottesville branch of Great Harvest is franchised by Matt Monson and his wife Kath Younger. Matt is a Charlottesville native and former employee of a North Carolina Great Harvest store. He admits that he is fascinated by the science behind making food (especially bread), and he uses science to create the best products possible. This husband and wife team is focused on quality - buying only the freshest ingredients - and supporting other area businesses. In fact, many of their ingredients, such as eggs, tomatoes, and other vegetables come from local suppliers. The store also carries a custom made Shenandoah Joe's coffee blend. In addition to purchasing locally, Great Harvest has also incorporated other green elements into their business, with paper bags being utilized as much as possible, some corn-based plastic products, and a counter top made completely from recycled glass.


Please join us in welcoming Great Harvest Bread Co. to Charlottesville. Be sure to pay them a visit and try not only their bread, but also their sweets, sandwiches, and granola. The store is located in McIntire Plaza at 1701 Allied Lane. For more information, please contact Matt or Kath at 434-202-7813 or visit
On Friday, July 22, British fashion retailer, Jack Wills University Outfitters, opened in Charlottesville. The store's grand opening on the Corner at 1411 University Avenue was well attended by both members of the community and UVA students. Designed in a way that resembles an English country house, the shop's 1,468 square feet offers a unique positioning where building criteria is all about setting, history, and character.


Established in 1999, in Salcombe, Devon, UK, Jack Wills reflects British heritage and style. The company's registered trademark, "Fabulously British," defines the inspiration behind the brand: high quality goods that draw heavily on British custom, style, and culture. Jack Wills touts its up-market, niche British concept that stands out from the crowd. The brand exudes a sense of excess, adventure, and a hint of youthful arrogance. This distinctive styling explores the tensions created by teaming formal wear with a more casual look, fusing heritage with contemporary. The product range spans men's and women's apparel and accessories, housewares, and beauty and grooming items.


Please join us in welcoming this new business to the City of Charlottesville! For more information, please visit Jack Wills online at

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The Rimm-Kaufman Group (RKG), an online marketing company, is adding staff and relocating its headquarters to downtown Charlottesville. RKG recently moved to a 23,000 square foot space on the second floor of the LexisNexis building on Water Street. The company, which launched in 2003, has long specialized in paid search advertising, the practice of running ads that appear based on Internet search results. RKG is now seeking to expand its core business and focus also on online display advertising and search-engine optimization consulting.


The company employs 62 people with plans to hire 10 more this year. RKG has been named to Inc. Magazine's list of the "Top 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America." RKG appears on the list at #315 and is ranked 24th in the Advertising & Marketing segment.


For more information about this growing company, visit RKG at

SNL Financial recently announced that New Mountain Capital has acquired a majority stake in the company. SNL is a leading provider of sector-focused information services on the banking, financial services, insurance, real estate, energy, and media and communications industries. New Mountain is a leading private equity firm that focuses on growth and business building and currently manages approximately $9 billion in assets.


SNL will use the proceeds to accelerate growth and continue its product development initiatives. The company will remain headquartered in Charlottesville with additional offices in the U.S. and around the globe.

Cardigan Logo FinalCardagin Networks, a Charlottesville based provider of mobile loyalty and advertising solutions, recently announced a significant injection of funding. Private investors and angels from New York, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia invested $4.25 million that the company will use to accelerate product development and fuel market expansion. Cardagin redefines how local businesses attract, retain and reward loyal customers through a self-service mobile marketing platform designed to help local businesses target and personalize their advertising and monetize their loyalty programs.


After successfully completing a pilot of the savings and loyalty mobile app, Cardagin launched in January 2011 in Charlottesville to rave reviews from the City's local business community and consumers. With more than 500 businesses and thousands of consumers using its technology, Cardagin will roll out its platform and mobile apps to more than 90 cities coast-to-coast this summer. To learn more about this company, please visit Cardagin online at


Over 150 business licenses were issued during the second quarter of 2011. To view a list, CLICK HERE
The commercial vacancy rate in the City of Charlottesville experienced further decline in July 2011. The overall vacancy rate of the major shopping centers in the City is 3.5%, which is lower than the rate from the July 2010 and January 2011 studies (both 5.7%) and down from 6.5% in January 2010 and 8.5% in July 2009. These results came about after a study of a few of the main retail shopping centers in Charlottesville including: the Downtown Mall, Barracks Road, Preston Plaza, the Corner, and Seminole Square. Charlottesville's vacancy rate remains below the national average and is currently less than half the national rate of 7.1%.

The main reason for the drop in the vacancy rate is fewer vacancies on the Downtown Mall, the Corner, Preston Plaza, and Seminole Square. Furthermore, it appears that empty storefronts are being leased much more quickly than in the previous year to year and a half. This situation bodes well for further economic growth in Charlottesville's retail centers.

WorkSource EnterprisesWhile nonprofit organizations contribute significantly to the quality of life, Charlottesville-based WorkSource Enterprises is one that is actively engaged in economic development as well. Founded in 1967 to provide job training and employment to persons with disabilities, the organization owns and operates several small businesses that carry out its mission. Its job placement division works with over 100 regional businesses to assist them in recruiting and maintaining qualified and dedicated employees. WorkSource also performs sub-contract work for many companies that are in need of assembly and packaging services or need assistance with mailing projects and assembling promotional materials. It works with many small entrepreneurial firms, but also provides these services for large companies looking for cost-effective ways to get projects done well and on schedule.


BreadWorks Bakery & Deli, a division of WorkSource, is located at 923 Preston Avenue and its products are also available at many local retailers including Integral Yoga, C-ville Market and Rebecca's Natural Foods. Many Charlottesville restaurants, caterers, governmental agencies and the University of Virginia purchase from BreadWorks. For example, Belmont Pizza & Pub on Carlton Road uses BreadWorks dough for its delicious traditional and wheat crust pizza. BreadWorks also sells its products online through Relay Foods and it has an eatery in the UVA Health System's Northridge outpatient facility on Ivy Road. BreadWorks party platters and box lunches are available for special events and limited delivery service is available.


WorkSource Packaging ServicesWorkSource also runs a janitorial division that provides custodial and housekeeping services for the Charlottesville Federal Building on West Main Street and the Federal Executive Institute on Emmet Street. Its Day Support program provides pre-vocational, educational and recreational activities for citizens with disabilities.


For more information about how WorkSource can help your business with its workforce needs, please contact them at 972-1730 or visit them at


CNE 1On Tuesday, July 26th, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) celebrated its fifth year anniversary. Dozens of local not-for-profits, members of the business community, and government officials showed up at Cville Coffee to lend their support to this much-needed resource in the Charlottesville community. For the past five years, the CNE has been dedicated to strengthening nonprofits by offering education and training, sharing local, state, and national resources, and mentoring nonprofits at all stages of development.  


Founded in 2006 by Wendy Brown, the CNE saves nonprofits time and money so they can focus on maximizing their potential. The CNE represents a community of over 250 nonprofit, business, and consultant members. It actively promotes best practices in nonprofit management and board governance, while also providing a forum through which nonprofits, and the communities they serve, can gather to exchange ideas and information, and to develop opportunities for strategic collaboration.


Congratulations to the CNE on five successful years in Charlottesville!

Charlottesville was named to the "American Dream City" list by and was the only southern locality that made the list. The article noted Charlottesville's great history, mentioning that presidents James Madison, James Monroe, and Thomas Jefferson called this city home. The article also suggests that the 20,000+ University of Virginia students as well as teachers and other staff serve as a great economic generator for the area. Charlottesville is also a center for the arts, as it hosts various book, music and film festivals throughout much of the year. Apart from the art entertainment, the University of Virginia Athletic Department provides year-round sports entertainment including: basketball, football, and lacrosse to name a few.


The article notes how the best part of Charlottesville is that everything is within walking distance. The City offers a mostly free transit system that puts 77% of the City within a stroll of amenities and activities. As for scenery, the nearby Shenandoah National Park and its scenic Skyline Drive that turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway offer beautiful views of Central Virginia. Other attractions include a number of surrounding wineries and the "Brew Ridge Trail" of craft brewers that includes Charlottesville's South Street Brewery. Charlottesville has a $220,000 median home price and a $78,300 median family income. The article states that area schools seal the deal though, as a handful of its elementary schools earn perfect marks and its top middle schools and high schools don't miss by much.


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The Office of Economic Development is the City's primary vehicle for economic development services. Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for public and private initiatives that promote the long-term economic vitality of Charlottesville.


The Economic Development staff works to expand the tax base and to provide quality job opportunities for citizens through new business development, retention/expansion initiatives, and workforce training. The Office also coordinates and administers the functions of the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority (CEDA). The Authority issues revenue bonds and assists with front end capital for projects.