VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Mayor Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer delivered his third annual State of the City address virtually.
Mayor Dyer's address focused on how Virginia Beach has demonstrated how to “improvise, adapt and overcome” the challenges of 2020, including the coronavirus pandemic.
The State of the City address highlighted that even during the pandemic, the city saw some businesses expand and others move their operations to the city, which created more jobs.
Mayor Dyer said that last year, more than 1,700 new jobs were created and $228 million was invested to support their operations. The City estimates a 20-year economic return of $55.8 million.
Virginia Beach also achieved the highest hotel occupancy for 18 weeks straight, Mayor Dyer stated.
The address highlighted the following programs that were adopted to help businesses and residents make ends meet through the pandemic, including:
- implementing a meals tax holiday;
- deferring tax payments and delaying tax filings;
- providing real estate and personal property tax relief for senior and disabled citizens; and
- providing financial assistance to qualifying city services customers experiencing hardship due to COVID-19, and suspending service disconnections
- Assisting people in paying their mortgages
- Delivering $1.7 million to support 19 different Hampton Roads-based nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and 20 community organizations
Mayor Dyer also focused on the several improvement projects taking place across the city. There is a total of 14 projects, valued at $22 million.
Among the improvement projects include, $17 million in street improvements in Resort area and new showers, restrooms, and changing station being added to the Oceanfront.
The mayor ended his address stating, "One thing we know for sure: The people of Virginia Beach are the strength of Virginia Beach. And together, we will be the model for how a community can come together. And now, it's is our time to rise and shine as a "Community of One."
Watch the State of the City address below: