Small Business / Entrepreneur Resources

Partnerships with small business development resources allow us to leverage our knowledge with regionally based experts and offer an added service for Portsmouth business owners.  Please see the list below for helpful resources and organizations.
Hampton Roads Innovation Collaboration Logo
Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative - The Hampton Roads Innovation Collaboratives mission is to provide a connective environment for regional innovation and development while offering an inclusive environment for companies, arts and nonprofits, and alliances.  For more information, please call 757-373-6517 
Hampton Roads SCORE Logo
Hampton Roads SCORE  - The SCORE Association, "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association comprised of 13,000+ volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories.  SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors, and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.  These services are offered at no fee as a community service.  To start working with a SCORE Hampton Roads mentor, please call (757) 455-9338.
Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center
Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center - The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Hampton Roads, Inc. is a part of a statewide network that is directed by George Mason University and is hosted locally by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. The SBDC website offers a plethora of information for both potential entrepreneurs and small business owners.  The SBDC also offers a full calendar of training and workshops.   For more information, please call (757) 644-2593.
Business Gateway ODU
The Center for Enterprise Innovation - The ODU Center for Enterprise Innovation is a single entry point for potential and existing business owners.  Several business development centers are located within the Center for Enterprise Innovation including the Hampton Roads Procurement Assistance Center (HRPAC) , Hampton Roads Veterans Business Outreach Center (HRPAC), Launch Hampton Roads (LHR)Technology Applications Center (TAC), and Women's Business Center (WBC).
Opportunity Inc
Opportunity Inc.  -  Opportunity Inc. is the regions workforce development board.  Opportunity Inc. works in conjunction with Portsmouth Economic Development to analyze the existing workforce, and to identify skills gaps in the workforce. 

The One-Stop Workforce Centers are the forward edge of a comprehensive workforce development system meant to help job seekers and employers alike.  Not only is training aligned with industry needs, proving individual clients with the greatest chance to find employment, but Opportunity Inc. provides direct services to employers as well. For more information, please call (757) 461-7537.
Starting Block
Starting Block - Starting Block is an initiative of the Portsmouth Partnership  and was started to provide incubation space for companies which will move on to seek their own space as they grow their payrolls and their revenue.  Starting Block has teamed with Hatch's 1000 Four program to provide the tools resources and mentoring assets to help companies at almost any stage of their development.  For more information, please call (757) 397-8473.
Hampton Roads Retail Alliance Logo

The Retail Alliance - The Retail Alliance, formerly known as the Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater, is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in greater Hampton Roads. We promote and support the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through education, advocacy and member benefits.  For more information, please call 757-466-1600.

Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity - The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) is the state agency dedicated to enhancing the participation of small, women- and minority-owed businesses in Virginia's procurement opportunities.  SBSD is responsible for the administration of two certification programs: the Small, Women- and Minority-owned Businesses under Virginia's "SWaM" Procurement Initiative and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.  SBSD also provides support to certified businesses through business development and procurement advocacy programs, in cooperation with other agencies and departments.  For more information, please call (757) 385-4492.
U.S. Small Business Administration - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small business concerns.  The SBA's website is an excellent resource for potential, new, or seasoned  business owners.  The annual resource guide produced by the SBA is provided electronically online and covers every aspect of small business ownership.  For more information, contact the local SBA office at (804) 771-2400.
Virginia Employment Comissionon Logo
Virginia Employment Commission - The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is often viewed as an agency to assist displaced workers, however the VEC also provides many services to employers.  VEC assists employers with employment law and regulation, providing a method of distributing job postings, and providing employer assistance through incentives.  For information, please call (757) 558-4455.
Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation - The Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation (VHCDC) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt community development corporation.  VHCDC works to promote and support entrepreneurship, to advance entrepreneurship education and training, to promote entrepreneurship-friendly policies, to connect disadvantaged small businesses to capital and credit and to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies and services by small, women- and minority-owned businesses which have great promise for improving the economic welfare of the region.
Virginia Small Business Financing Authority - The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) is the Commonwealth of Virginia's economic development and business financing arm. The VSBFA helps banks make loans to businesses that can demonstrate repayment ability , but where the bank needs additional collateral support or a more robust secondary repayment source by providing cash collateral, subordinate companion loans, guaranties, loan loss reserve and loan purchase participants. For more information, please call (804) 371-8254.