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December 2010
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The Basics

10.26 square miles

2009 Population Estimate: 42,218

Density: 4,505 people per square mile

722.6 square miles

2009 Population Estimate: 94,908

Density: 110 people per square mile

Growth Since 2000
Virginia: 11.4% Charlottesvile: 5.3%
Albemarle: 12.7%
Fluvanna: 28.4%
Greene: 20.8%
Louisa: 29.1%
Nelson: 7.2%

--source: U.S. Census Bureau

Bedroom-athon vexes Greene
What do the above figures mean? For starters, they mean that the outlying counties are bearing the brunt of the growth. That bums them out because while Albemarle and Charlottesville get gobs of college student housing complexes and shopping centers (read: tax revenue), neighboring counties get gobs of students to educate in their public schools (read: tax expenditures). Fact: In 2003, Greene County raised its real estate tax from 74 cents to 79 cents per $100 of value. However, the effect of the Charlottesville exodus may be leveling out, as the current Greene real estate tax rate has gone back down to 72 cents per $100.

-->>For local taxes, see our Government section


Biz groups

Charlottesville Albemarle County Convention and Visitors Bureau: Visitor center downtown on East Main Street. 293-6789, or toll free 877-386-1103

Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce: "Dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business, and enhancing the quality of life in our greater Charlottesville area." 295-3141

Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development: This is the bring-biz-here group that's devoted to increasing relationships between private businesses and public institutions, as well as trying to make sure you have a job.  Phew. President: Michael Harvey, 979-5610

Free Enterprise Forum: Non-profit organization that acts as watchdog over local governments, boards, and commissions.  See how they're affecting bidniz. 220-0781

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives): These retired biz execs volunteer their time to help you start your business. 295-6712

AAA Ratings
Charlottesville City has an AAA bond rating, the highest possible. Charlottesville supposedly holds the record for the longest-running AAA bond rating for a city with a population under 50,000. On July 1, 2005, UVA announced that it is one of only two public universities to score a AAA rating from all three bond agencies, and still holds the honor through to 2010.



Major employers of the Charlottesville Area:
University of Virginia
: 12,206 (inc. P/T the total is over 13,000)
University of Virginia Health System:

Albemarle County
: over 3,000 (inc. P/T)
Martha Jefferson Hospital: 1,600

City of Charlottesville
: 2,000 (inc. P/T)
State Farm: 1,500 (inc. P/T)

National Ground Intelligence Center: 1,200

Sperry Marine (Northrop Grumman): over 800
Region Ten Community Services: 600 (inc. P/T)
Crutchfield Corporation: 400
Wal-Mart/Sam's Club: 400
: 464 (including 166 P/T)*
WorldStrides: 435
Atlantic Coast Athletic Club: 465 (inc. P/T and seasonal)

Farmington Country Club
: 383
SNL Financial
: 400
U.S. Postal Service : 376 (including P/T)*
Boar's Head Inn: 350 (inc. P/T and seasonal)
CFA Institute:

PRA International
: 300 (including P/T)*
LexisNexis: 320
Piedmont Virginia Community College: 325 (inc. P/T)
Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge: 280 (inc. P/T)
Management Services
: 90

--source: approximate numbers of local employees, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and July 2010 Hook telephone survey. *Could not be reached by press time, so a figure from a 2009 Hook telephone survey was used.

Charlottesville Metropolitan Area Employment Information at a Glance

                       Feb           Mar           Apr           May
                      2010         2010         2010         2010

Civilian Labor 108,418    109,062   108,888     109,070


Employment   101,424     102,156     102,870    102,678   

Unemployment    6,994       6,906        6,018        6,392    

Unemployment  6.5%       6.3%         5.5%        5.9%


--source:  Virginia Employment Commission



City of Charlottesville: 6.6%
Albemarle County:
Virginia: 6.9%
U.S.: 9.3%
--source:   Virginia Employment Commission

May 2010


Tough times, but it could be worse
Although the economic downturn has hit the Charlottesville area hard, unemployment rates for Charlottesville City have decreased slightly since last year, while the national unemployment rate has increased. The Virginia Employment Commission credits the softer landing for Charlottesville to recent UVA grads choosing to enter the local workforce instead of going elsewhere after getting their diplomas.

Major industries: Tourism, learning, medicine
Manufacturing, agriculture, and textiles have flourished in the area for years, and the beauty of the natural environment as well as our rich history have created a thriving tourism industry. In addition, Mr. Jefferson's university is home of prestigious law, business, and medical schools, not to mention a top-rated hospital. As piles of retirement, investment, and tourism magazines attest, Charlottesville / Albemarle today is one of the hottest places to live in the country.

Albemarle has farmettes and horse farms galore, but for a rural county, we're fairly small potatoes in the Old MacDonald world of real agriculture. According to a 2007 agriculture census
, Albemarle ranks at #35 among Virginia's counties with only 919 farms and $21.45 million in annual revenue from farm sales. Nearby Augusta, by contrast, ranks at the #2 spot with 1,691 farms grossing $138.7 million in annual sales. Albemarle didn't even chart for cotton, peanuts, tobacco, and barley, but here are a few measurements:

Hay: 53,300 tons produced from 22,700 acres

Cattle: 18,200 head

Sheep: 2,000 head             

--from U.S. Department of Agriculture

Make mine local wine
The above statistics fail to count the wine industry
, which is the fastest growing agricultural industry in the region.  Since Jefferson was dubbed the "Father of American Wine," over half of Virginia's 2,000 vineyard acres are located in the Monticello region. Two bigwigs in local biz are Patricia Kluge and Dave Matthews.

--> See our wine section in the Food Finder for more.

The Virginia Lottery Economists call this a "voluntary tax." School administrators call it a godsend. It was created by voters in 1987, many of whom wrongly assumed the proceeds were going directly to schools. That misperception was corrected in 2000 when over 80 percent of voters in a state constitutional referendum voted to make it official to send the proceeds to public education.  Now, all profits have been used for public education in the Commonwealth K-12. Sales reached over $1.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2009 and $439 million was contributed to public education. Two years ago, Washington & Lee economics professor Scott Hoover sued the Lottery because he claimed the Virginia Lottery has sold tickets to players without any chances of winning a prize, which may help explain all those sad faces in gas stations.
Paula I. Otto

Much to the consternation of environmentalists, Virginia is the #2 trash-importing state with 5.2 million tons of out-of-state refuse arriving in 2009 according to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. While this figure seems high,the amount of waste imported by Virginia has decreased by 27 percent since 2007. Around here, the former Buckingham County Landfill (aka Love's Container Service Landfill) is now an EPA Superfund site that was capped in 1998. Albemarle's landfill, now dubbed the "Materials Utilization Center
," became a small-scale transfer station in 2001.

Three carriers serve the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO): Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. That means non-stop service to Atlanta, Detroit, New York/LaGuardia, Washington/Dulles, Charlotte and Philadelphia. While rising gas prices have meant hard times for all sectors of the airline industry, CHO's total number of boardings have started to increase for the first time in four years. CHO reps concede that the worst of the fuel costs impact is finally over.

Location: 8 miles north of town off (you guessed it) Airport Road. 973-8342

Airport boardings:

2001: 155,000 boardings

2002: 172,000 boardings

2003: 163,000 boardings

2004: 187,500 boardings

2005: 196,242 boardings

2006: 185,182 boardings

2007: 180,606 boardings

2008: 168,966 boardings

2009: 177,410 boardings

--source: CHO

CHO aircraft operations:

242 aircraft operations/day average
45%  transient general aviation
27%  air taxi
23%  local general aviation
5%  military
<1%  commercial
--source: airnav.com

Private hangar
If you're a high-roller, you'll be pleased to know that Piedmont-Hawthorne Aviation dba Landmark Aviation
has 3 corporate hangars and 20 Tee hangars. Good place to stow your Gulfstream.



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