Hampton Roads Economy
Many people are unaware of just what a wealthy area Hampton Roads is and of how robust the economy is there. Hampton Roads is actually the proud home of four Fortune 500 Companies. These include Smithfield Foods; Norfolk Southern; Dollar Tree, a chain of stores providing low cost goods; and Amerigroup. Each of these important companies got their start in the area and are still owned and operated locally.
In addition to these massive and important companies, the area also thrives economically due to its harbor system. Since the year 1989, the area has been named the leader of waterborne foreign commerce in the United States in the mid-Atlantic. On a larger scale, the area is the second largest exporter of goods, following close behind Louisiana. The area’s port and harbor system is also the ninth largest in terms of vessel calls and is the world’s largest exporter of coal. Other important industries in the area include shipbuilding, ship maintenance and repair; naval installation, cargo transfer, cargo storage, and general import and export manufacturing.
Some of the economic success of Hampton Roads is also due to the presence of the United States Military. Surprising to many, the area actually has the largest amount of military bases and military facilities in the entire world. The Allied Command Transformation, Langley Air Force Base, and the Norfolk Navy Base are all located in the area.
Of course, tourism, shopping, and restaurants also play a part in the local economy. Many people flock to the area each year, especially during the summertime, to enjoy the beautiful waterways and the sunny, clear weather. The area is known for being relaxing and is a favorite vacation spot of the wealthy. This, of course, only furthers the already strong economy of this beautiful and very important United States area.