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A Blueprint for Economic Resiliency and Reinvention in the Greater Charlottesville Region

The Project Rebound Blueprint report, released on June 25, 2020, pulled together input from more than 300 local participants. Meant as a starting point for conversation and collaboration, it mapped out action steps toward economic recovery in our area.

The need to rebuild consumer, business and workforce confidence was an important theme of local conversations. Participants identified health & safety concerns, an uncertain business environment, and confusion over guidelines as some of the confidence barriers to economic recovery.

Why Project Rebound?

“If you learn to use it right – the adversity – it will buy you a ticket to a place you could not have gone any other way.” – UVA Men's Basketball Coach Tony Bennett, after winning the NCAA national championship, April 2019

Project Rebound engaged the business community to share insights, identify challenges, and build actionable strategies to restore the local economy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Goals included:

  • Identify best practices and responses with proven success; solutions for known challenges and pain points; and future opportunities across multiple economic sectors.
  • Develop a blueprint for restoring local business operations and building economic resiliency in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Foster ongoing collaboration to move forward with promising solutions.

Seven industry-specific teams convened throughout May 2020 to identify and help craft solutions to assist businesses in Charlottesville and Albemarle County to emerge from Virginia's stay-at-home order and adapt their operations to changing conditions.

On June 25, 2020, Project Rebound released a Blueprint for economic recovery, built on the thoughtful input of more than 300 local stakeholders. The report was developed by U.S. tax, audit and advisory firm KPMG, with support from a GO Virginia Economic Recovery and Resilience Grant (ERR).

Team Leads

Reviving Small Businesses
Yolunda Harrell, New Hill Development Corp.
Rebecca Haydock, Central Virginia SBDC

Protecting the Arts and Creative Economy
Chris Eure, The Paramount Theater
Justin Reid, Virginia Humanities

Restarting the Hospitality & Tourism Engine
Courtney Cacatian, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
Russ Cronberg, The Boar's Head Resort

Assessing Key Industry Clusters
Helen Cauthen, Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development
Chris Engel, City of Charlottesville Office of Economic Development

Subgroup Co-Leads for IT, Financial, Defense:
Adrian Felts, Signature Science
Rod Gentry, Albemarle County Economic Development Authority

Subgroup Co-Leads for Biotechnology, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage Manufacturing:
Nikki Hastings, CvilleBioHub
Hunter Smith, Champion Hospitality Group

Leveraging Strengths of Anchor Institutions
Jonathan Davis, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
Frank Friedman, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Preparing Vital Infrastructure
Chip Boyles, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
Doug Walker, Albemarle County

Rebuilding Nonprofit & Community Organizations
Charlene Green, Piedmont Housing Alliance
Ryan Jacoby, Center for Nonprofit Excellence

Project Partners

Partners from across the Charlottesville community are joining forces to strengthen the local economy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Project Rebound is led by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce with support from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia.

Steering Team:
Elizabeth Cromwell, Chamber President & CEO
Chris Engel, City of Charlottesville Director of Economic Development
Roger Johnson, Albemarle County Economic Development Director
Pace Lochte, UVA Assistant Vice President for Economic Development
Denise Herndon, UVA Program Director for Economic Development
Project Manager:
Andrea Copeland, Chamber Committee Engagement Director
Rachael Hobbs, UVA Office of Economic Development Project Associate
Ann Marie Hohenberger, Chamber Marketing & Communications

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UVA Economic Development Logo

Special thanks to Bunmi Adeeko Collins of StickyNote Creative for Project Rebound graphic design.