Business, Freight News, Sea

VMA Port Day 2022

[ February 18, 2022   //   ]

Representation is one of the core functions of the Virginia Maritime Association and on February 11, 2022, members of the VMA visited Virginia’s General Assembly to represent the best interests of Virginia’s ports and supply chains.
“We started VMA Port Day several years ago so legislators could hear directly from our members, and their constituents, to advocate for legislation which will create a more favorable environment for their businesses,” explained David White, Executive Director, Virginia Maritime Association. “It’s an annual tradition for us to visit while the General Assembly is in session, thank them for their past efforts, and to make them aware of legislation that will improve port-related commerce.”
On this Port Day, over 60 industry leaders from across the state worked in 18 teams to meet with over 80 members of the General Assembly, including most of those in leadership. The entire House of Delegates and the State Senate recognized a small delegation from VMA during their formal legislative sessions of their respective chambers of the Capitol.
This year, the VMA is advocating for the following budget priorities:
• $266M for NIT North Berth Optimization:
This General Fund Revenue request for the Norfolk International Terminal (NIT) North Berth Optimization Project will increase container capacity by 42% at NIT and increase port capacity by 20% overall. The recent optimization project at NIT South, paired with the full development of the Virginia International Gateway terminal, has allowed Virginia to outperform competing ports at a time of unprecedented demand and grow 25% from CY20 to CY21. The optimization of NIT North will allow Virginia to keep pace with demand, adding the capacity necessary to continue growing and driving economic activity across Virginia.
• $150M to expand VEDP’s Virginia Business Ready Sites Program:
Over the past few years, Virginia has lost out on over $75B in capital investment projects, over $290M in state revenue, and over 40,000 direct jobs, due to a lack of shovel-ready sites or existing buildings. The new funding will dramatically increase the inventory of move-in ready sites across the Commonwealth, making them important to securing strategic business attraction and expansion investments, and building Virginia’s economy.
• Fully fund Virginia’s International Trade Plan:
The International Trade Plan (ITP) for the Commonwealth of Virginia includes a series of targeted initiatives to significantly improve Virginia’s trade position relative to other states – from 39th in exports per capita to 20th by 2035. This request for an additional $3.5M in FY23 and $7M in FY24 will fully fund the ITP. If the International Trade Plan were fully implemented, combined with the business development initiatives outlined in VEDP’s Strategic Plan, this would drive Virginia past its peers in export activity, diversify Virginia’s economy, and increase the number of high-paying jobs in the Commonwealth.
• $10M for Offshore Wind Supply Chain Development Grants:
VEDP will launch a new grant program to help small and medium-sized Virginia businesses enter the offshore wind industry by helping obtain industry-required certifications, support employee training, purchase new equipment, finance new product and service offerings, and offset wages of new hires. The offshore wind industry presents a generational opportunity to grow the economy and workforce of Virginia. It is estimated that the development of the industry over the next decade provides a $109B revenue opportunity to businesses in the offshore wind supply chain.

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