Our Mission Statement: 

To participate in the Economic revitalization and development of the City of Norfolk by marshaling the resources of the private sector in support of the City and its agencies.

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In 1977, a visionary group of Norfolk business and political leaders, concerned that Norfolk was suffering from a malaise in its development cycle, met to discuss how to get Norfolk moving again.  The Greater Baltimore Corporation, which was composed of the business and educational leadership of Baltimore, provided the model for the Greater Norfolk Corporation.

Norfolk, like Baltimore, was blessed with a rich talent pool of private sector leaders whose expertise could help government make better decisions and catalyze development.  The desire to get something going; to encourage actual implementation of projects, coupled with the belief that the private sector had to be organized in order to be effective, provided the impetus for GNC’s formation.

Since its inception, GNC has been a partner in Norfolk’s ongoing renaissance.  While GNC’s role is different today than it was at its inception, the real value of GNC remains the same.  GNC continues to be blessed with a rich talent pool of private sector leaders whose expertise and resources can and do make a meaningful difference.

Today, GNC continues to play a leadership role in efforts to enhance Norfolk’s and the region’s competitiveness and quality of life.  In response to the urgent necessity to diversify our economy given the reduction in federal spending, GNC recently convened a blue ribbon panel of regional thought leaders to develop a plan and strategies to build an entrepreneurial climate in Norfolk (and the region) that will jumpstart the development and growth of innovation based businesses and jobs.

The plan that was developed focuses in part on efforts to develop, attract and retain talent and includes the establishment of a national caliber Career/Technical High School in Norfolk and the creation of a STEM-oriented Governor’s School for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

The plan currently being implemented also calls for the establishment of the Norfolk Innovation Corridor stretching along the Elizabeth River from Old Dominion to Norfolk State, including the EVMS/Sentara/CHKD medical complex, downtown Norfolk and the area adjacent to Harbor Park, emulating the innovation district phenomenon that has catalyzed economic surges in cities like Chattanooga, Durham, Nashville and Boston.  In June, 2016 Norfolk City Council officially designated the Norfolk Innovation Corridor as a “technology zone” thus enabling the City to incentivize the growth of technology businesses with a multi-year BPOL tax exemption and abatement program.  The newly designated corridor is being marketed as the Norfolk Tech Trail.

A key element of the plan being implemented also calls for taking the Elizabeth River Trail to a new level and making it the most iconic riverfront trail in America and a magnet for attracting and retaining talent.  The 2016-2017 city budget includes monies for the development of the prototype design and companies in Norfolk and the region will be invited to adopt a quarter mile stretch of the Trail going forward.