2019 VSCPAs’ Virginia Economic Expectations survey – Central Virginia
Gary Wallace, CPA
How long have you been living in your region? What are your favorite parts about living and working in the region?
My entire life. Fifty-five years. Richmond is a vibrant community and has been adaptive and progressive in recent years. We have great amenities, a cultural scene and a strong work environment.
How is the economy faring in your part of the state?
We are seeing significant growth in all sectors of the economy. It is highlighted by new business growth, as well as a strong real estate market in the commercial sector [in neighborhoods like] Scott’s Addition, Manchester and others.
What local industry do you think has potential for growth?
Most are doing well, so to single out one industry is challenging. However, we are seeing substantial new business opportunities in the services industry, which have lower barriers to entry in terms of capital or personnel costs, initially.
What’s the biggest challenge to doing business in your area?
People. Qualified employees continue to be a significant challenge for many businesses.
How has the new tax law affected your clients?
Generally, a positive impact. It offered both initial tax relief for many corporations and also provided an economic sign of stability. What has yet to occur is the additional time to comply with the new provisions.
What impact do you think U.S. trade policy will have on business?
Some [industries] already are being affected, including our manufacturing and construction sectors. As to the overall economy, it raises questions and concerns regarding such additional costs of doing business and how businesses are able to pass on the additional costs of tariffs, etc.
Photo courtesy Shandell Taylor