A trade group representing many of the nation’s leading technology companies operating in Virginia has asked the state’s leaders to make the state even more attractive to technology firms.
In its its 2015 Legislative Agenda released Wednesday, the Northern Virginia Technology Council called on the state’s policymakers extend capital gains tax breaks for investments in technology-based businesses.
The council’s overall message to state lawmakers was to enhance the state’s ability to attract technology companies to the state along while supporting growing and emerging technology companies already in the state.
“Ongoing economic uncertainty and federal spending cuts underscore the importance of continuing efforts to grow and diversify Virginia’s technology economy by focusing on technology and innovation, research investment, targeted economic development incentives that enhance Virginia’s competitiveness, entrepreneurship, new company formation and growing commercial markets,” the letter states.
“Moreover, shifting federal priorities provide Virginia with significant opportunity to leverage its strengths and assets in cybersecurity, data centers, cloud-focused industries, health IT, big data analytics, energy, mobility, and other growth sectors to attract new jobs and investment,” it continued.
The association, which encompasses more than 1,000 technology companies with interests in Northern Virginia, highlighted a number of other priorities for the 2015 legislative session.
- Restoring funding cuts to the Center for Innovative Technology, a nonprofit corporation that invests state funds in emerging companies in high-growth markets.
- Providing the state’s Mach37 Cyber Accelerator with the authority to accept private sector funding and investment to support its operation. The Mach37 Cyber Accelerator is a program out of the Center for Innovative Technology that mentors young cybersecurity companies and invests in the best of them.
- Launching a new veterans employment performance grant to encourage small and midsized technology companies to hire military veterans.
“Virginia cannot expect to see a return on investment unless Virginia is willing to make an investment,” the letter says. “Smart economic development investments must be meaningful, targeted and tailored to the promotion of collaborative research, innovation, and entrepreneurship as well as the launching of new cutting-edge technology businesses in the Commonwealth.”
Along with these priorities, the letter also calls for policies that boost Virginia’s technology workforce through a robust science, technology, engineering and mathematics education pipeline in an effort increase the number of STEM certifications and degrees awarded statewide.
NVTC also asks legislators to continue efforts to improve infrastructure, including transportation, energy and broadband, to support economic development and help Virginia companies compete.