Key Industries

A prosperous and sustainable economy is synonymous with a healthy community.

The City's business community is renowned for its highly diverse collection of industries, including nationally and internationally known corporate headquarters, technologically advanced manufacturers, billion-dollar defense contractors, and locally owned shops.

Key Industries Pivotal to the Growth of our Economy

While building businesses organically is an important part of the Department’s economic strategy, our team also focuses on attracting new businesses and capital investment and creating new economic opportunities for our community.

​In order to increase the department's effectiveness in terms of marketing, business attraction, and existing industry programs, resources are focused on several key business clusters:

Key Industries Highlights

  • The multibillion-dollar offshore wind industry is gaining momentum as seven new projects will be installed on the East Coast by 2026 and two off the coast of Virginia Beach.
  • Defense spending continues to push the local economy forward; the total direct economic impact for the Fiscal Year 2021 (the latest data available) was nearly $26 billion. Of this, nearly $21 billion was from military, civilian and retiree payroll and more than $5 billion was from the procurement of goods and services as well as travel expenditure.
  • Virginia Beach is a tier-one digital port city; the world's fastest and most resilient subsea cables are located here, fueling data centers near and throughout the U.S.
  • Virginia Beach is the largest city in Virginia but many people are surprised to​ learn that the resort city is also home to about 23,000 acres of farmland and agriculture is the city's third-largest industry, generating more than $190 million in economic impact.
  • Festivals and other signature events are a boon for our economy generating nearly $138.6 million in economic activities in 2018
  • Tourism is an important contributor to the Virginia Beach local economy and a multimillion-dollar industry that supports thousands of jobs.
  • ​The City offers a variety of opportunities for shoppers and retailers, including urban high-density developments, two regional malls, destination retail at the Oceanfront Resort Area, and traditional power and neighborhood retail centers. ​​​Locals contribute to more than $6.4 billion in retail sales each year (2022 data)

Source: City of Virginia Beach, 2023