Governor McAuliffe Announces New UK Export Sales and Partnership for Virginia Craft Brewery

~New international sales opportunity for Hardywood Park results from European trade, marketing missions; assistance from Virginia agricultural trade office~

June 29, 2017 LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced new export sales and a new distribution partnership for Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, while on his trade and marketing mission to Europe. The partnership is with American Craft Beer Company, a UK-based representative of craft breweries from the United States. Today is the first day Hardywood Park beer is available for sale in the United Kingdom and the Governor attended a launch event at a brewpub owned by Scottish-based brewery BrewDog.

“This is an exciting new growth opportunity for Hardywood Park, one of Virginia’s largest and most well-respected craft breweries, into the world’s second largest export market for U.S. craft beer,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I am thrilled that our efforts to introduce Virginia companies to export opportunities continue to pay off. After meeting American Craft Beer Company here in London last year and then hosting them in Virginia, it is a pleasure to be back in London to announce their new relationship with Hardywood Park. In order to build the new Virginia economy we need to keep working with companies like Hardywood to open new markets and sales opportunities outside of our borders.”

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery was first introduced to their new partner during a tour of Virginia breweries for European beer buyers in September 2016. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) organized the visit following a meeting between American Craft Beer Company and Governor McAuliffe during a trade mission to the UK last July. The VDACS European representative office identified American Craft Beer Company as a potential UK partner for Virginia breweries and made the initial introduction to VDACS staff in early 2016.

“This new partnership for Hardywood Park is a testament to the world-class quality of their craft beer, the entire craft beer industry in Virginia, and to the hard work of this brewery and the VDACS international team,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. “The craft beer industry contributes over $1 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy each year and breweries like Hardywood Park are important purchasers of Virginia agricultural products as inputs to their beer, including malted barley, hops, honey, ginger, blackberries and other fruits. Export sales like this one will ensure that this contribution continues for many years to come.”

Hardywood Park was started in 2011 by co-founders Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh, who are also in London for their UK launch. The brewery is also a participant in the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s 2-year Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. “We are excited for this new partnership with American Craft Beer Company and our first sales into the UK market,” commented Eric McKay. “As a Virginia company we are fortunate to have access to the top notch resources and expertise of both the VDACS and VEDP international trade teams and are thankful to them and to Governor McAuliffe’s office for being such avid supporters of our international efforts. We look forward to utilizing their services to expand into additional markets in the coming years.”

Co-founders Mark Smith and Ed Firth started American Craft Beer Company, based in West Midlands, England, in 2012 and represent a small, targeted number of US craft beer brands in the UK market. Speaking about the new export deal, Ed Firth said “As we build our brand portfolio, we are being very selective about the breweries we bring into this quickly growing, competitive market. We were impressed by the quality of craft beer we experienced while in Virginia, and are particularly excited to have Hardywood Park on board with our program. Meeting them through VDACS’s efforts was a great benefit, as it certainly would have been more difficult and taken much longer to find them on our own.”

Agriculture and forestry exports from Virginia were valued at $2.78 billion in 2016 and the UK was the fourth largest market for these products from Virginia last year. The Commonwealth exported almost $140 million in agriculture and forestry products to the UK in 2016. In April the Brewers Association, the non-profit trade association representing the US craft beer industry, announced that the UK had risen to second place as an export destination for US craft beer, taking 10.1% of the total export market share.


Metro Richmond Exports Initiative to Promote Economic Growth

RICHMOND, VA — September 9, 2016
After nearly two years of work by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, the Greater Richmond Partnership, Virginia’s Gateway Region, JPMorgan Chase and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and input from hundreds of businesses and local, state and regional officials, the long-awaited Metro Richmond Exports Initiative has been released.

The initiative grew out of the need to explore long-term sustainable economic development strategies to create jobs and new capital investment. The Brookings Institution and its Global Cities Initiative provided technical support, while JPMorgan Chase provided funding.

Also, JPMorgan Chase announced a $150,000 grant to support implementation of the initiative, including assistance grants to Richmond businesses that need support in their export growth activities.

“International trade provides a pathway for local businesses to create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy,” said Nick Klym, executive director of Chase Commercial Banking. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to be a part of the development of the Greater Richmond region’s export plan and to support innovative strategies that will help businesses learn to navigate international markets.”

The exports initiative was released during an event at The Boathouse at Sunday Park in Chesterfield County.

The Metro Richmond Exports Initiative aligns with the mission of the new Virginia International Trade Corporation authorized by the General Assembly earlier this year. Richmond is the first metropolitan statistical area in Virginia to organize a formal exports initiative.

See photos from the event

“The commonwealth is pleased to support this collaborative global initiative in the Richmond area,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore.  “Thanks to Virginia’s international trade programs, we are able to support our small- and medium-sized businesses that may not have the capacity to market their products internationally on their own.  I thank everyone who was involved in supporting this project and I look forward to seeing great results from this collaborative export initiative.”

The initiative’s goal is bold: it seeks to increase export success of small and medium businesses by 40 percent by 2020. This will happen by strengthening the metro exports ecosystem, increasing exports outreach and organizing policy feedback. The goal and each of the three strategies carry specific metrics to evaluate and measure the success of each program.

“Metro Richmond has a diverse array of industries, ranging from agriculture, to manufacturing, to engineering and management services. Every one of these industries has companies that make products and services that can be exported to a world that is eager to buy ‘Made in America’,” said John Accordino, Ph.D., director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis and the interim dean of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU.

“Through the initiative, these companies will find the services and resources that help them realize their export potential, and that will help to grow the region’s economy.”

As the next phase of the initiative kicks off, the Richmond area’s two regional economic development organizations—the Greater Richmond Partnership and Virginia’s Gateway Region—will begin to execute many of the program initiatives outlined in the strategy throughout the program year.

“The Metro Richmond Exports Initiative is an extraordinary borderless effort, and we’re excited to work with our partners to help local businesses grow in our region,” said Barry Matherly, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership. “After several years of hard work building consensus with stakeholders, we’re ready to hit the ground running. This initiative will make a meaningful difference for our MSA in new jobs and capital investment.”

Renee Chapline, president and CEO of Virginia’s Gateway Region, said, “With 81 percent of the bulk of potential demand for American products being outside the U.S., the ability to export is paramount to company health.

“As we work alongside our partners to implement the initiative, we will be giving our companies the ability to access these consumers, allowing them to increase profits, create new jobs and become competitive on the global level,” Chapline said. “It is a strong step in the right direction for the metro area’s economy and Virginia overall.”

Over the next four years, annual reports will document the progress of the initiative’s work. Adjustments to the programming may be made as warranted by the annual results and a robust communication plan will keep stakeholders informed of potential changes, successes and opportunities.

VCU Receives Grant from JPMorgan Chase

Reposted from Richmond BizSense

APRIL 9, 2015
An initiative aimed at the Richmond region’s export market received a boost this week from one of the nation’s largest banks.

JPMorgan Chase has awarded a $140,000 grant to VCU’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis to help fund the development of strategies for increasing the amount and value of exports out of the Richmond area.

The center is collaborating with economic development group the Greater Richmond Partnership, which last year launched an initiative aimed at improving connections between prospective exporters and service providers. The partnership’s effort is based on a model provided by the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

Greg Wingfield, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, said the initiative combines the financial support of JPMorgan Chase, the local research and economic marketing efforts of VCU and the GRP, and the technical expertise of the Brookings Institution – a private nonprofit research organization that focuses on policy solutions.

“We’re learning some best practices around the country from Brookings,” Wingfield said. “The funds from JPMorgan are going to help us really replicate some of the best practices.”

He said the goal would then be “to take it down to the local level with VCU and to be able to do some of the implementation in the partnership.”

Wingfield said companies currently exporting in the area are “all over the board” in terms of products and services. While agricultural exports are common, Wingfield said other companies not typically considered exporters are also contributing to the market. He mentioned local daycare firm Rainbow Station, which he said is working on adding more franchises in other countries.

The grant and initiative were detailed in an announcement and briefing Wednesday morning that included a presentation from Marek Gootman, director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives at the Brookings Institution.

Gootman said Richmond is among a small group of U.S. and international metro areas pursuing comprehensive regional plans focused on exports. Gootman, in a release from GRP, said Richmond is acting on “untapped exporting potential that can grow this region’s economy and support better quality jobs.”

John Accordino, director of the VCU Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, will be leading the strategy development effort, which he said could be completed by the end of this year.

Accordino said the effort would compare Richmond to other metro areas and study those that are also collaborating with the Brookings Institution to see what’s worked for them. He said the effort would also involve meetings with regional stakeholders, such as businesses, trade associations and others involved in economic development, to develop a detailed description of the area’s export system and how it operates.

“In order to really understand what we’re doing – what we’re good at and where we have opportunities for improvement – we really need to describe that system well,” Accordino said. “So we’re going to be covering the ground pretty well.”

Accordino said strategies developed through the effort would be presented to the community once the process is complete. He also thanked the Brookings Institute and JPMorgan Chase for their support.

“It really made the difference to being able to get this to a level where something good’s going to come out of it,” he said.