Jan 11, 2024 - Business

Richmond is one of the best cities for company headquarters

Illustration of the Richmond skyline with word balloons filled with exclamation points popping up across it from left to right.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Richmond is one of the best cities in the nation for companies looking to relocate their corporate headquarters.

Driving the news: The River City tied for eighth in an annual ranking of which cities companies would consider for corporate HQ homes, according to industry publication Site Selection Magazine.

Why it matters: Corporate HQs bring jobs — generally "very good, high paying jobs," says Jennifer Wakefield, who leads the Greater Richmond Partnership, the metro area's economic development agency.

  • Richmond jobs at companies with their headquarters in the city pay an
    average annual salary of $135,675 a year, according to GRP's latest wage analysis.
  • That's compared to the Richmond area's average salary of around $63,000 using their data.

Plus, rankings like this — ones compiled from a survey of the business consultants that help companies make HQ decisions and published in a respected trade publication — are exactly the kind of list Richmond wants to land on.

  • That's because they're read by the CEOs and site consultants that decide where to move headquarters. So when Richmond shows up as a hot city, corporate leaders are paying attention.
  • Companies, like anyone else, get FOMO, Wakefield tells Axios.

Worth noting: Part of what makes Richmond's inclusion in this ranking so exciting is that it was named in response to a blank question, Wakefield says.

  • Respondents were asked: "If you were running a company and needed to find a new home for its corporate headquarters, list three cities you would place on your short list."

Zoom in: A number of factors make Richmond attractive to companies, Wakefield says, including:

The big picture: State and local tax policies and access to a workforce are the most important issues for consultants when considering cities for relocation, per Site Selection.

  • Access to affordable housing and upskilling (workers willing and able to expand their skills) and child care rounded out the top five issues.
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